tv Doc Film - Inequality - How Wealth Becomes Power Deutsche Welle August 27, 2018 11:15am-12:01pm CEST
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this is the airfield for private jets that doesn't offer airport entrepreneur christophe grown a is one of germany's super rich people who have a lot of say in this country but are rarely head on public. is worth millions and private assets and companies chance. all of a self-made. man to try to fix it let's say you have two hundred fifty million you can throw it out the window and it'll come back in through the door but you can't destroy it you can buy cars and they go up in value you buy houses and real estate is worth more you buy gold and gold prices go up but you can't destroy money by consuming friends interested in business. we've been following the cost of clone a for six months through him and many others this film takes a look at in a quasi. in germany. at first glance germany is
a rich and powerful country full of opportunities but if you look closely you'll see wealth as more on evenly distributed here than in just about any other industrialized country success often depends on your background. why is that do the differences threaten social cohesion and democracy to find some answers we go around the world and speak to a nobel prize winner and other experts who've looked deeply into the issue of inequality. the world is at a crossroads today people sense that the control of their nation is being stolen from inequality is the most pressing social problem facing us today. welcome to the landed inequality.
it's almost eight in the morning in berlin. along or my hide the driver is already racing when the boss comes he has to get moving right away because of a teacher's son has made his way to the top often working twenty hours a day he's what's called a high achiever. just fine i don't have a driver because i'm lazy or i think i'm too good for that on the contrary i like driving i'm a passionate motorist but the question is what does my company pay me for for sitting behind the steering wheel or for working out of the decision of either. going and has money with a real estate hardly any company in germany builds as much as his c.g. group does and in the housing market the prices only go in one direction upwards. his company has just bought a very special building the developer wants to turn their stiglitz a cattle office block into the tallest residential tower and the city. thank you.
because i'm going to is always up for a challenge he wants to run only way to the top and less than five minutes a race against himself thirty floors one hundred twenty meters six hundred steps. and employee times him with a stopwatch. so. it's often minutes faster than the last time. irish question well it was pretty perfect. but i could still do it better. now sure enough remembers i wasn't angry i can still remember back when i was finishing high school. i watched bar specker winning wimbledon and i thought. this is just you wait it up just that i'll be right up there with you. you seem outlandish. and apartments here will cost between five and
ten thousand euros a square meter from opposite corner can look down on many of his construction projects. i'm working you can actually follow the trail of the last twenty years here in berlin of nearly four thousand apartments and another three thousand are under construction and we've played a big role in housing construction here and one of the school. this is going has had called his in berlin every company like this is a round with the boss at the top and the stuff but me from that kind of company now are always five hundred people they all have good contracts he says. ten shillings but the twenty fifteen tax statement from your brother. let me know there's a lot to pay. i don't know one of the most important employees is his personal
assistant and julie gleeson. as it's known who doesn't is still in dispute or if then he'll be going on to zurich then tomorrow who back in berlin friday in life sick and then he'll be away over the long weekend. and then what about sleep. i think not a lot but there are rumors of between four and six hours i also don't think it'll be much more depending on how busy he is or whether he's traveling not if you can tell from one his e-mails arrive inside and come. up with. some of his time in a system like her has at least the same level of stress i have the boss is only as good as his assistant let me know because you don't notice that with her she's only been in the job for a few months so she's still fresh but she also has the constitution for it perhaps after constituents too much so i. thought i'm going to.
my own house about the dog understands he's had a permanent contract as a security guard for half a year. and i don't side fitting out the time i went to school for fourteen years i speak two or three foreign languages. so if i ever got the opportunity again and had the initiative i could imagine becoming a lawyer or a judge to hear that's something that interests me a lot. lot about about two thousand euros a month gross that's enough for a modest life but not much move. to think about his boss on the other hand has been able to build up millions of euros and i sets. can the god live on what he earns for me that's what counts if he can then i have done my job as an employer if i pay a guard so little that he can't live off a salary then i've done something wrong i must say you think comparing him with you
is nonsense of course it's nonsense i stay home from work due to sickness three times in thirty years i ask my guard how many times he's been out sick because if i have a slipped disc i come to work if i have a forty degree fever or a come to work if my wife quarrels with me and keeps me up all night i still come to work as my security guard comparing us isn't fair or correct this is to for miscarriage his mistress but as a he will he ever be able to afford a house with a full litany of course not but he does not want that i know my security guards i know my caretakers. would you like to trade places with her grown or. die so i didn't say yes right away i guess if i had to answer spontaneously my first answer would be no and i believe it's like thought about it for a long time it would still be no that's actually got a lot less to do with him as a person or what he does it's just
a question of my own attitude i wouldn't want to have that much responsibility and how would you like to have a house with a pool. yes but then maybe not here in germany where in greece. so whereas the one can only dream of a house with a pool the other can afford several properties. cost of going to has a villa in the lynn and a penthouse in cologne with a view of the cathedral but little time off. how much distance should there be between those in the middle and those at the top and how big is the gap in reality . there's a lot of data about poverty in the pool that very little about the rich a state asset registry would help but there isn't one and so a team from the german institute for economic research is trying to find out more with. the man i'm
a physician for move if you try to represent the wealth distribution in germany in a graphic way you can do it quite simply on an a for sheet of paper and if you look . it's welcome and you can imagine a coordinate system like at school obviously with an x. axis and a y. axis and with a y. axis this year i show the amount of wealth from new ones well you could easily display ninety five percent of the population on this sheet of who can go short of hard news on wolf and i start here in the minus area because a part of the population is in debt or even insolvent and then there's a relatively broad area where assets are virtually zero for moving until it finally starts to increase exponentially at the outer instructors this describes ninety five percent of the population but the question is of course how far away is the richest person from this heist and manage a magazine put stuff on family business at the top of its rich list for germany the family's estimated worth thirty three billion euros so if ninety five percent of germans are graphed on a four sheet that iman's would be
a whopping six point six kilometers further away. every era has its motherlode in the past comic has made big money barely a stilt the families who own the big trading houses became hugely wealthy now real estate developers have joined the. cost of corn as rice began here in leipsic twenty years ago he invested when prices were low. it was all ruins law scrap. pile of everything you see to the left and right has been we developed built and rented out by us. his company says it now build one and three new apartments in the city and the cost of current his career has been unusual he was not born a boss he used to work on construction sites from self.
trends in my view that's why this time it looks like every other stone has been replaced here with expertise with a sense of proportion to create an entire day. and it helps if you have worked on scaffolding like this yourself i can do masonry i can lay concrete i can lay steel i can plaster walls lee tiles put up facades but that was my career this is the company started out as christophe going about his building services and then we took on specialized construction contractor work in project development until we became the company that we are today at this and i mean just to hold that thought about it. has also invested in this form an industrial district. this is the class family thomas and cutler and what that two children they live in a rented apartment around the corner they wouldn't mind having one more room. i just this is. where you have to say it's an oasis in
a built up environment each building has nine classic apartments into penthouses one large and one small at the top. but you know i'd like to show you all the floor plans in the trailer. so we're about where the woman is right only about meaning you know the house is next to that and you houses themselves are at least twenty meters further advances ok. nice now back to the penthouse apartments there we have a four room one hundred twenty three square meter apartment with a sixty square metre roof terrace. i think we need to be realistic a penthouse isn't what we need or what we can afford i think a classic form apartment with a balcony or shared garden i think that's what we be looking for that would interest us all what was rebuilt in los angeles on this. very thing. then let's take a look at the floor plan parents would practically have a separate wing here a sand pits playground and recreation area. you know so in general
the target group is young families. yes typical young families give to give me some idea of the scale and i'd be interested in a four room apartment on the first floor would come at three thousand four hundred fifty year of a city or. the former an apartment would cost four hundred fifty thousand euros to buy the classes are a typical middle class family they both have good jobs buying property used to be the way to start building up assets. at this point i think we were thirty before we could even start to think about our old age and accumulating wealth after doing. it isn't now i'm almost forty and we still haven't managed to put away much in terms of reserves. you know how to even come up with the minimum amount of capital so that banks will be able to give us a loan along as instead it's we're sticking point. if. ninety four percent of buyers here aren't from saxony that means this is currently
a market where normal saxons can't participate even if. the class family isn't the only one with little chance of owning their own place and all the richest five percent of germans own half the apartments and houses. every second person owns no property at all most germans rent and having to pay more and more for a living space. the purchase price of an eighty square meter apartment has soared in the last ten years. one thousand is an extreme case only ten percent of the people here own real estate. sixty percent of all new buildings are ninety four percent of refurbished old buildings have gone to buyers from out of town.
see of oil and you want to get your shoes dirty mr. studious. while the close family has a tate's others a snapping up the houses on the market and don't have it if you make a killing again he did did he get another bargain for you must we keep getting repeat offenders here they buy one house after another this is the third right it's a second of his second complete one and the apartments before we went for a meal and i said it will cost less than four point five and he got it for three kinds of crazy right. this is sort of hard and today the time is ripe for us to make money here with the standard. and my company urgently needs it. oh and that's not a crime as you know i don't think it is such a bad thing for. the real estate market is symptomatic it enables those on top to make more profits while others can hardly afford to live in that and city anymore. why did you come back to fix their difficulty if this is. behind
this is the most basic question does profit for the one mean loss for the other is . today's typical property by as a rich people well off retirees and yes and investors looking to try to scuttle it and the others like thomas clone centers colleagues can only look on it as overkill this is a little show i was really struck honestly when i look at what's being built in the district i need a practical apartment to live in and i don't think they're building them to be left and they're building them as investments and i can't join in that game which none of my colleagues can either which. is a state of mind that probably also creates housing that doesn't meet the needs of the city and most of the population wasn't scary because many people are being left behind banks sticking by if you have to strike a blame the it's location there are many parts of life see where nowadays you find
one place with high priced apartments and another where the people who just couldn't afford to live in them anymore had to move to someplace might be going to the church and it's a crappy situation when you say that for whatever reason you have to get out of your apartment but you'd like to stay in your neighborhood but that's not possible . in a neighborhood in eastern part of berlin biggish nasa has been the scene of an escalating conflict between residents who are afraid of losing out economically and the man they accuse of making the deal of his life. because. the coroner arrives and his security guard stays close by when he's here he usually gets police protection saw . where i'm going to be disturbing your lunch break today so let me at least say good morning. about your friend who has been the focus of an angry backlash his opponents filmed the first encounter with residents and protesters.
i. started let me ask you is this a dialogical. for sure this guy was nice whether. they were meeting me for the first time you could call the birth of the boogie men and when they get to see an entrepreneur who has arguments on his side and won't back down a missed claim by can i tell you i mean how would i know god was good at it if i believe i yes i am i know. what this is this is and it's precisely this stupid thinking that prevails in society thinking there's always a direct connection and he makes money and has become wealthy so he must have stolen it from someone that just i don't i'm going gets all the politics that he's charging twelve years a square meter nobody can afford that different slave or else what we have smaller
apartments thirty five forty fifty square meters which any nurse can afford even at fourteen years a square meter my friends and i want as long as it's well made has great light she'd love to live there instead of in sixty square meters over there for a year as a square meter oil. co knows that many of his workmen or the police officers who protect him have difficulties finding affordable housing but he says his millions of square meters are not the cause of the problem but part of the solution. how do you strike the right balance between rewarding achievement. i'm letting everyone share in it. what consequences does inequality have a society. the real general finding is that inequality being a way of making people feel more distant from one another. stretches the soulful
fabric it frays the social fabric it pulls us apart from one another physically experience joy and psychologically there's nothing necessarily wrong with inequality of course people have an unequal endowments of intelligence and beauty and they have different parents and where i start to worry as a sociologist is when people accumulate dynastic wealth and dynastic wealth means a lot of money that gets transferred down through generations because that starts to stabilize systems of inequality across society and that constricts the opportunities available to everybody else. cost of governor may have worked his way to the top but even for him there's still a glass ceiling you can buy your way into the world of domestic wealth you can only be born into it. a half and best all
time traces his family tree back to the year eleven thirty five he's a descendant of the focus one of the richest families of the middle ages. of the one hundred the images you can always use a winch to pull in the deer and you've killed a stag which normally weighs well over one hundred kilos then you need mechanical help to get it into the vehicle and although that's a big. this whole day i would look a bit odd when you drive around towing a dead deer in a trailer people sometimes find that a little strange. has been lauded on months one macro to. the cohesiveness to transport dead stands as an old austrian military vehicle. back full time uses in the three hundred hectares a forest he owns somewhere in central germany where not allowed to say exactly where that was his condition for letting us film him. discretion is everything.
watson visits in the morning of a far as it is a wonderful feeling because you have the run of it so to speak when you have who will do a lot. of. help to you i think it was the publisher of the site count has done half as well who once said you always have to own everything you love i can comprehend the question philosophically but if i answer according to my natural instincts i'd say yes i like owning things that i find beautiful when rush to get a thing of the one i was sure and infinit because it's. almost.
now you go also we had the great inequality that exists. vilma folks much of his we wanted for the economy and it's unavoidable mothers to be so obviously if you're an entrepreneur and you have inherited something and keep it running properly you will have more than someone who's just an employee. and incidentally you think that things are by and large fair in germany so good. you know yes by and large i do i don't sense any real feeling of injustice on the part of most people on the street but it was the lord in office to also come to me one hundred. during the week from best old time walks with a view of the man river and frankfurt he had what he calls the family office this exclusive establishment is essentially what used to be known as a private bank is more like that was announced to be perhaps you should add that this is one of the few old frankfurt patrician houses that survived the second
world war intact let's look at it this alter out so floor of this handle this bannister if you don't often find them in frankfurt today on and on for toward the news sources here and in these display cases you can see the remnants of what once made patrician dining culture so special hutu. and family offers an elisa you have to imagine a family office as just that an office that takes care of the interests and all the financial needs of a single family or an individual because that ranges from let's say five or ten million to several hundred million. not even the employees know all the names of the bank's clientele. the wealthy come via personal recommendations they know that for the best all time offer them something that normal savers can't get from a bank these days interest and returns on the money. we've done.
together to create an asset structure for the future let's say you want to invest so and so much in real estate and you know and with real estate you also have apartments and commercial buildings and maybe even logistics you stick. stocks maybe thirty percent no matter what you might put ten percent into pensions and ten percent in cash or the rest is invested in other things private equity forestry and so on we help families to maintain their fortunes for generations that is what we aspire to the honorable. the legend surrounding germany's post-war economic recovery sometimes invokes the notion of a kind of monetary is zero hour when everybody supposedly had to start from scratch if you want to get rich you had to work your way up according to the math. that's what a massive bank closed shortly before the first world war a former interior ministry official published an almanac of millionaires.
under mint in these books you still find numerous names that look very familiar today. among the g. but if you look at the lists of the wealthy you get the impression that old money plays a huge role among the big fortunes today. abides by. the options are deemed to make out between those who only have work and those who belong to the upper class has increased enormously by dick for clues which i think if people understood how how deeply unfair economic competition was in the modern global economy they really would be up in arms. it's the end of thomas closer shift after visiting the construction site he and his wife consider the real estate agent's office at the moment the family has
essentially from his income his wife has reduced to work hours to take care of the children. the children are eager to tell their father about the events of the day they visited their grandmother. once the children go to bed the parents talk about by me apartment in the middle of the city. on this too short on july first you were all enthusiastic and a bit dazzled by the idea and the beautiful project by the question about whom the project is aimed at. young families like you. on the one hand that's flattering but on the other hand when you then hear the price and think about it again in this these are dimensions where i say that a family like us are out of it from the uniform we are expecting an inheritance or any other sources of outside money and we have to earn it on
a monthly basis. four hundred fifty thousand euros i don't even know how many annual incomes that would be nice and calm in the civilian. so much on point you start to worry that this step downwards into the lower middle class is much closer than a step up into the upper middle class. middle changed i think everyone has the same feeling i'm lucky i have a big employer will i feel like i've won the jackpot in leipzig but that doesn't mean that we can keep up with the developments in the real estate markets being mocked. the classes are not poor but they belong to a group that has come under pressure in recent years the middle class the people who have no fortunes but have to work for prosperity. in recent months thousands have sent and comments online for this film project under the hive tag. for example they reported the salaries and industrial
clock in the car industry sixteen hundred euros net a social worker in a rehab clinic one thousand six hundred forty eight met a civil engineer nearly two thousand at a medical specialist with twelve years of training two thousand seven hundred sixty eight nash. and that income of three thousand five hundred euros puts a single person in germany's top ten percent of anise accumulated wealth is particularly unequal half the population has less than seventeen thousand euros in reserve that would let them buy a base model b.w. gulf who fusing clothing for one point six children from birth to the age of eighteen. or just three point three square metres of a newly built apartment and frank fast. the vast majority of the gains in income are going to people at the very top of the income distribution in the top one percent of the income distribution and incomes
for people in the middle class and below the middle class of essentially not increased or of even fall in at the bottom third a large middle class is necessary for peaceful and democratic society. yes and if you now have polarization in rich countries and you have shrinkage of the middle classes then you really have a problem or you are really moving to a new territory that is just unexplored yet in you asked the question can really a successful democracy exist with fairy polarized. citizenship with lots of people who are rich but also lots of people who are below the middle class level the world is at a crossroads today that if it doesn't try to write a new social contract. those who have been hurt the many many people who have been hurt. well rebel.
yeah. there are a few places where all social strata come together. but even when they do exist it doesn't mean that the poor the rich and the middle classes actually meet it's our they doing they're playing tactically. cust of colona has paid for a place in a luxury suite in leipzig main sub the stadium. if. we in the luxury area are paying for their cheaper tickets through our high contributions everyone makes their own contribution maybe that guy pays twenty years for ticket i'm actually paying two thousand for mine there's a certain justice there now type it up. at the family office in frankfurt the bank's own forest has come to call. a few
minutes i brought all the figures let's start with finland. because ten fun best all time has been using his clients' money to buy up forests in finland you zealand and europe right if you are stealing. and muscle soup once benefited us you can see it here in the timber prices in finland the development last year spruce and pine have seen a huge increase since two thousand and sixteen and that works to our advantage disputed situation cotton and. now tortured by this german farce are just insanely expensive there are very few areas available and when an area opens up people jump on it like crazy of so prices double triple quadruple over the past ten or fifteen years if you fast and it's of course this is also due to the low interest rates that we currently have people are looking for everything they. can find common ground where can you invest money safely invested or invested very profitably. it's an intrinsic conflict. when we quit can we really talk about europe way how
does the return look relative to our plans. we were doing quite well deserved why is our most conservative project. this is a new global food of capitalism financial capital of them. to find out how the system works sociologist brooke harrington first trained as an asset manager. it's a global profession and that's why i had to go to eighteen different countries you know from the cayman islands in the b.v.i. all the way out to the cook islands in the middle of the south pacific to the seychelles and more issues to new york and london and switzerland all over. one of the things you learn and wealth management school is to regard the world as kind of a legal financial shopping mall and you go to each different state in the world the
way you would go to shops in a mall picking out the laws and the conditions that are most favorable for what you want to do or what your client wants to do with a particular asset so what you have to know is a wealth manager is where's the best place to get the laws that you need to do what you want to do with the art collection or the yacht or the family business. the family office is the starting point of a global investment chain the wealthy in trust from best all time with their money among other things he invests with these fund managers they send it all around the world and sharing it much more interest than say a normal savings account. four years ago that you're here to say that the outset we are really satisfied with the performance you have achieved so far currently we are at nine point three percent since the beginning of the year. they say the secret of their fund is automated investment they have an algorithm that
scans the global economic situation and converts it into traffic light signals green means the computer buys a lot of shares and when the signal jumps to yellow or red fewer of the market. if you have a curve is flat and you can see it because the signal is in dark green a lot of this market timing of years we do the market timing we are the ones who ensure that a customer can reenter the market because we operate without emotion we have no emotions because our entire set up our entire algorithm is purely quantitative it's going quantity i was going on molecule normal geo political upheavals such as those in syria or ukraine none of them has such a global economic dimension that it could really knock the world economy out of state which i think and that's our benchmark past where we would intervene in the track. light it has to be an event that knocks the world economy off balance and at least in history no conventional war has done that before.
many people would now say here are six well to do people sitting at the table and all they're doing is trying to increase their wealth for many you are kind of an economic bloat what would you say to them but frankly nothing because no one ever asks him that think it's pretty cheeky. that as of now we're in germany everyone thinks you can join to your bank as a trainee at eighteen then become an authorised signatory and then eventually department head and then retire at the age of sixty five as a classically director with a palm tree in the office and a chair with armrests that world is definitely over that's for sure. to come out. in the context of. modern investor capitalism there's been this massive shift of power from labor to investment it's called financialization dissin kuntz klaus
these are very clear elements of an artificial world for which only an abstract amount of money counts of unleashed but not the quality of life locally among the people in the markets in society. is it shift now you can get rich from being a rentier capitalist that is not from your work not from the sweat of your brow as they say but from putting your money at the right place at the right time in the right things. thomas class has been working as an engineer for siemens for nine years. he sits on the works council and could imagine staying here until he retired. with or without a pantry. with a lot of you having to. we have employees who have been trained here they work here
all their lives it's like a family it's not just work it's a bit of family and a bit of life the staff and i are very attached to what we do here together during the day. in the mines up to. the north just recently zaman's placed in six billion euros in annual profits but then maureen rumors began circulating investors were reportedly putting pressure on the company saying this pond it wasn't fit for the future. because it actually nothing is secure even everyday life living in a rented apartment is in secure them we're currently secured by a single income and that is now on a very very shaky legs and you suddenly realise that when you get a situation like the one we're in now just invented to us who introduced me to it's just.
a few streets away from the siemens plant because of clinton has invited all his stuff to the company christmas party he just booked this old post office railway station. his wife and his youngest daughter the first to show up. then the bus arrives a lot has riding on him his employees are also worried so much the same reasons as thomas clouse in recent weeks the financial press reported that investors have taken over fifty percent of the company's shares. site because b.p.'s just of course. it is going to your friends family. as shown by it's amazing to be able to stand among you you are my motivation. ceasing mine which of us are
these you are my strength. yeah i think you have been convinced by a letter from the management from perhaps signed by me that we are still the same family no matter who owns the shares no matter who will have a say and so forth when the guy had the add up not me to their credit because yes yes we do capital markets yes yes we have to refinance ourselves yes we have to reposition ourselves. i will also be doing that no matter in what post i will be available to you in the future as it is not me of achieved so far as to be a truly great and big family i mean it is that i have a nice evening and thank you. at some point every company reaches a certain size where its banking and financing structures are no longer sufficient spat it's not the time i have to deal with the financial institutions and all that
has to do with you and survivor if i have that under control then i will remain in my post but if i don't do that i'll be voted out faster than you can possibly imagine i was forced to. it looks like the whole world is being shaken up by big money it's a game that few can play and even fewer can win. but what is at the top stop to jump ship and those below have to worry about a crash what effect does that have on a country today and in the future. are .
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the global star september first double. come. this is d.w. news live from the u.n. investigators issue a damning report on me and miles crack down on the ranger using the words genocidal intent and say the military commanders must face justice for crimes against humanity the army's brutal offensive a year ago caused hundreds of thousands of revenge of muslims to flee the country will get reaction in.