In breaking news this morning, the government of Colombia has announced measures to help out poor investors who have lost money in pyramid schemes.

The Australian media have mostly ignored it, but Colombia has been torn by riots and protests over the last few days due to the collapse of dodgy financial operators, who have apparently been promising huge returns based on nothing more than paying out earlier investors from the money deposited by later investors. Great if you get in (and out) quickly, but a losing proposition for the vast majority.

This is not unprecedented: in Albania in 1997 a similar collapse led to nationwide chaos and the deaths of some 2,000 people. Colombia so far seems to have got off lightly.