Charlie Chaplin making his first speech for the Liberty Loan drive in Washington, DC. From The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading.
What does this image have to do with swindles and cons, you ask? WELL. Because Liberty Loans were available in small denominations and payable in installments, millions of Americans could participate in the financial market for the first time. With so many people having a stake in the financial markets—the first time in America’s history—you could say that swindling was in the air.