A financial scheme over 200 years old.
Read through Charles McKay's chapter on the Mississippi Bubble in Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds from 1852, or watch Richard Condie's National Film Board of Canada cartoon from 1978.
What was the bubble? Economist John Law tried to help France out of a recession in the early 1700s. His plan was to open a bank and exchange coins for paper. He bought the Mississippi Company to help the French colony in Louisiana, and as the worth of the stocks rose, fueled by the exaggerated stock value, so did massive speculation.