Abstract image of urban skyline in an orb.


伦敦—半个多世纪前,约翰·肯尼斯·加尔布雷斯(John Kenneth Galbraith)用一部言简意赅的作品描写了1929年华尔街大崩盘。加尔布雷斯观察到,占款私用(embezzlement)有一种性质,即“罪行犯下和发现之间会有几周、几个月或几年的时滞。顺便说一下,在这段时间里,私用者获得了收益,而被私用者没有感到损失。心里财富值存在一个净增长。”加尔布雷斯将财富的这一增值称为“占款”(bezzle)。

沃伦·巴菲特的商业合伙人查理·芒格(Charlie Munger)写过一篇优美的文章,指出这一概念可以推而广之。这一心里财富可以在不违法的情况下创造出来:错误或自欺便已足够。芒格创造了“等价占款”(febezzle)一词,或“占款的功能等价物”,来描述幻觉产生和毁灭期间所存在的财富。

从这个角度讲,揭发假伦勃朗(Rembrandt)的批评家并没有为世界做出好事:这幅画作的拥有者蒙受了损失,潜在赏画者可能也“躺着中了枪”,但伦勃朗真迹的拥有者没有获得多少好处。金融界对指出20世纪90年代末新经济(New Economy)泡沫,或者2008年全球金融危机前的信用扩张制造了规模巨大的等价占款的人可没有慈眉善目。

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