Bernie Madoff Bryan Smith/ZumaPress

骗术,愚人以及金融市场

发自纽黑文——当年亚当·斯密提出了关于“看不见的手”的著名理论,认为每个个体在自由竞争市场中对个人利益的追求会推动社会整体福利的增加。他是对的,自由市场无论是为个人还是社会都创造了前所未有的巨额财富,但由于我们会被操纵,蒙骗或者被动地引诱,自由市场同时也会说服我们去购买一些于己于社会都无益的东西。

这一观察可以作为对亚当·斯密观点的一项重要注解,也是乔治·阿克罗夫(George Akerlof)和我本人在合著的新书《钓鱼:操纵和骗术的经济学》中所探究的现象。

大多数人都曾经被“下过饵”——就是那些专门设计来蒙骗我们的邮件和电话。而一个“愚人”则是那个并未意识到钓鱼行为其实无所不在的人。他们只看到互不关联的钓鱼个案,却不知道其中已经包含了大量的专业性工作,同时这些专业性工作又是如何影响人们生活的。不幸的是,许多人都曾经是“愚人”——包括阿克罗夫和我,这也是我们写这本书的原因。

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