Ponzi schemes ... how do they think it will end?

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Mathematically speaking, Ponzi schemes are doomed. They work by bringing in new investors to pay off old ones. In pure form, there’s never any actual business activity; the money just rolls backward from ever-increasing numbers of investors to keep up the appearance of profits. This means the scheme requires an infinite supply of new suckers.

Anyone sophisticated enough to concoct a Ponzi scheme — and con experienced investors and government agents, as the New York financier Bernard Madoff is accused of doing — must also be sophisticated enough to do the math here.

So how can Ponzi perpetrators possibly expect to extricate themselves from their ploys? Based on historical examples relayed by a few biographers, historians and finance experts, the exit strategies seem to fall into four general categories:
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