in·sur·ance - (noun) - a: the business of insuring persons or property b: coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril
Pon·zi scheme - (noun) - an investment swindle in which some early investors are paid off with money put up by later ones in order to encourage more and bigger risks
Oh my god. They are different! I didn't know either, so don't be embarrassed. But as for AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- these are not insurance companies. Usually, instead of a bailout for a Ponzi scheme, you prosecute -- I wasn't sure if you knew that either.