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A tontine is an investment scheme named after Lorenzo di Tonti, a neapolitan banker, who invented it in France in 1653. The basic concept is simple. All funds are invested and each member receives dividends. As each investor dies, his shares are kept in the tontine until only one survivor is left and he collects all the shares. Once very popular it is now banned due to the fact that the members began to kill one another in order to receive all the shares.   Barry Howard an exporter of fine shoes from Spain and his partners, Kate Chimago, a Cuban expatriate, now a maker of super elegant sandals in China and Monty Oliver, who years ago had scraped the Mississippi mud of his tenured black ass and was now making millions with his line of urban clothing in Florence, Italy-- formed a guild to protect their product from poachers that stole their styles and sold them cheaper   Their desires to control all the shares mistakenly got them tied to an unbreakable tontine. When all the friendly shareholders began to disappear, fear began to tear into the confidence of the successful Guild.   

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