作者Whitney Tilson說了他在沽空路上的一個故事，Charlie Munger的回答所顯出的智慧實在令人敬佩:
In 2002, Bill Ackman researched financial-services giant MBIA (MBI) and concluded that it was a house of cards. He shorted the stock and published an in-depth report titled "Is MBIA Triple-A?" I thought Bill's analysis was correct, so I also shorted the stock and was publicly critical of the company.
In response, the company planted a negative story in the Wall Street Journal about Bill and me, claiming that we were part of a nefarious group of market-manipulating short-sellers.
As if that wasn't bad enough, only four days later, I received subpoenas from both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the office of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Both regulators had obviously read the WSJ story and were following up, demanding all of my e-mails, trading records, research, etc.
I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. Nevertheless, I feared that the bad publicity and these two investigations might put me out of business.
Panicked, I called Warren Buffett for advice. He basically told me, "This too shall pass," and suggested that I speak to his long-time partner, Charlie Munger.
I had never spoken with him, so I asked, "Does he even know who I am?"
Buffett chuckled and said, "Oh, yes, he knows who you are. Give him a call."
So I did – and, to my surprise, his secretary put me right through to him. I still remember his exact words. He started by saying, "You and Bill are absolutely right on MBIA. The idea that anyone would ever think that MBIA is triple-A is so ludicrous!"
He spat out the last two words and continued:
"From a societal perspective, what you and Bill are doing [to expose MBIA] is great."
At this point, I was feeling pretty good. My hero was complimenting me!
But then, he cautioned: "But if you go through life stepping on people's air hoses, they're going to hate you and attack you. So my advice to Whitney Tilson is, don't do it."
Then, he reflected on his own experiences short-selling decades earlier. "I shorted three stocks in my life and they eventually worked out," he said, "but not before running against me and causing me total misery. So I stopped."
He concluded with a phrase I'll never forget: "But every young guy seems to have to learn this for himself..."
He was saying this to himself as much as to me, because he knew I was so full of myself that I wasn't going to listen to him. That's how wise he is... and how dumb I was. My failure to listen to Munger eventually brought me to ruin...