Remember The Producers? Zero Mostel plays a small-time theatrical producer who realizes he can make a ton more money on Broadway with a flop than a hit. All he has to do is raise a few thousand percent of production costs from a bunch of small investors willing to be suckered into sinking their life savings into what they're told is a sure thing. As soon as the show folds on opening night with no profits to divide, investments are written off as a bad bet, investors get skunked, and the shyster perps walk away with all the dough.
This is essentially the same scenario by which the American financial services industry crashed the U.S. economy and fomented international financial collapse in September 2008, according to Charles Ferguson's cogent, clear-headed documentary Inside Job.