According to an investigative series in the Miami Herald, oversight by the state’s Office of Financial Regulation and its commissioner, Don Saxon, was so negligent that more than ten thousand convicted criminals got jobs in the mortgage business, including four thousand as licensed brokers, some of whom engaged in fraudulent deals. Until the rules were recently changed, felons in Florida lost the right to vote but could still sell mortgages. (Under pressure from Sink, Saxon resigned this past August.) Kathy Castor, Tampa’s representative in Congress, told me, “Florida was particularly lax when it comes to mortgage regulation.” She connected the mortgage crisis and the lack of oversight with state politics and the political power of developers. “We were hit by two Bushes, George and Jeb”—Florida’s governor from 1998 to 2006—“and there was very loose growth management. Because Jeb was aligned with the development industry, it was a speculator’s paradise.”
I should say that in both cases, Florida housing and New York ride services, although neither is entirely unlike a ponzi scheme, there's a difference between buying at or near a bubble's top and a ponzi scheme as traditionally understood. I imagine that in America in 2017, we are accustomed to various unfortunates facing financial ruin due to the rapid rise and fall of prices.