HIGH FINANCE: Keep the Change

W. Geoffrey Haynes, a Philadelphia real-estate man and part-time chemical importer, thought he had a sure-fire way to raise money. In newspaper ads, he invited 1,000 people to send him $100 apiece. Haynes's offer: investors would get their money back, "unconditionally," in ten years, plus a share in the profits of his importing business. For every $100 sent in, Haynes planned to send back a $100 U.S. bond maturing in ten years. As the bond would cost Haynes only $75, he would have $25 left to use as he wanted.

Last week the Securities & Exchange Commission stepped in. It...

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