今回から始まるこのシリーズでは、『Poor Charlie's Almanack』に収録されている講演その8(Talk Eight)を全訳でご紹介します。いつもとは少し違う雰囲気の話です。(日本語は拙訳)








Talk Eight

The Great Financial Scandal of 2003
An Account by Charles T. Munger, Summer 2000

The great financial scandal erupted in 2003 with the sudden, deserved disgrace of Quant Technical Corporation, always called "Quant Tech". By this time, Quant Tech was the country's largest pure engineering firm, having become so as a consequence of the contributions of its legendary founder, engineer Albert Berzog Quant.

After 2003, people came to see the Quant Tech story as a sort of morality play, divided into two acts. Act One, the era of the great founding engineer, was seen as a golden age of sound values. Act Two, the era of the founder's immediate successors, was seen as the age of false values with Quant Tech becoming, in the end, a sort of latter-day Sodom or Gomorrah.

In fact, as this account will make clear, the change from good to evil did not occur all at once when Quant Tech's founder died in 1982. Much good continued after 1982, and serious evil had existed for many years prior to 1982 in the financial culture in which Quant Tech had to operate.

The Quant Tech story is best understood as a classic sort of tragedy in which a single flaw is inexorably punished by remorseless Fate. The flaw was the country's amazingly peculiar accounting treatment for employee stock options. The victims were Quant Tech and its country. The history of the Great Financial Scandal, as it actually happened, could have been written by Sophocles.

As his life ended in 1982, Albert Berzog Quant delivered to his successors and his Maker a wonderfully prosperous and useful company. The sole business of Quant Tech was designing, for fees, all over the world, a novel type of superclean and superefficient small power plant that improved electricity generation.

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