tv Doc Film - Inequality - How Wealth Becomes Power Deutsche Welle September 2, 2018 5:15am-6:01am CEST
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this is the airfield for private jets that does little for airport entrepreneur christophe grown a is one of germany's super rich people who have a lot of say in this country but don't really have them 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 you can 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 the gold prices go up you can't destroy money by consuming it france will disappear and that's because. we've been following cost of qana for six months through him and many others this film takes a look at inequality. 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 have 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 land of inequality.
it's almost eight in the morning and belin. good morning my hired the driver is already waiting when the bus comes he has to get moving right away because of a teach your 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 it is a job 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 that stake that's a cattle office block into the tallest residential tower in the city.
because of going it is always up for a challenge he wants to run only way to the top and less than five minutes a race against himself says he feels one hundred twenty meters six hundred steps. and employee times him with a stopwatch. so. it's not a minute faster than the last time. us well it was pretty perfect. but i could still do it better. faster in the future numbers as an army ranger i can still remember back when i was finishing high school. so as to give them a watch bar spec a winning wimbledon and i thought. this is just you wait it up just i'll be right up there with you when. you see no place. an apartment 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 looking 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 spots. this is going his head 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 know i always five hundred people they all have good contracts he says. that feeling that the twenty fifteen tax statement from your brother. written about how there's a lot to pay. i don't know one of the most important employees is his personal
assistant underneath lisa. as it's known does he still interested 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 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 travelling it's not unheard of if you can tell from when his emails arrive in time to come. some of this time that a system like her has at least the same level of stress i have the boss is only as good as his assistant i'm not going to get if 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 to top it off you can see too in the stock market it's not. a lot of.
money a lot about the dog understands he's had a permanent contract as a security guard for half a year. and i know tight fitting out the time i went to school for fourteen years so 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 with a. lot of about two thousand euros a month gross that's enough for a modest life but not much more. 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 from 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 because pfizer must see 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 come to work if my wife quarrels with me and keeps me up all night i still come to work as my security guard office comparing us isn't fair or correct this is two for miscarriage and this mistress did it as a he will he ever be able to afford a house with a pool. 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 him. and that since 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. 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 berlin 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 from 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 a few. is welcome and you can imagine a coordinate system like at school obviously with an x. axis and a y. axis and with the y. axis here i show the amount of wealth for new ones well you could easily display ninety five percent of the population on the sheet of front of target result and i start here in the minus area because a part of the population is in debt or even insolvent and then there is a relatively broad area where assets are virtually zero for move until it finally starts to increase exponentially at the outer edge doctors this describes ninety five percent of the population but the question is of course how far away is the richest person from this heist image manager magazine put stuff on family business at the top of its rich list for germany the families estimated worth thirty three billion euros so if ninety five percent of germans are graphed on an eye for 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. still 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 invested when prices were low. it was all ruins all scrap. pile of everything you see to the left and right has been redeveloped built and rented out by us. his company says it now builds one and three new apartments in the city and because of current his career has been unusual he was not born a boss he used to work on construction sites himself. 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 of five senses and it helps if you have worked on scaffolding like this yourself i can do masonry i can lay concrete i can lease steel i can plaster walls lee tiles put up the sockets 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 and project development until we became the company that we are today at this and i mean we just heard that there was a lot of. kernel 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. there is this is. where you have to say it's an oasis in
a built up environment each building has nine classic apartments and two paint houses one large and one small at the top. which you know i'd like to show you all the floor plans in the trailer. that you're seeing so we're about where the woman is right new york meaning it has a four room one hundred twenty three square meter apartment with a sixty square metre roof terrace. i think we need to be realistic the 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 almost was rebuilt unless it was on this. that was a month to then let's take a look at a floor plan parents would practically have a separate wing here a sandpit playground and recreation area. that's you know so in general the target group is young families useful yes typical young families going to give me some idea of the scale and i'd be interested in a four room apartment first floor. would come at three thousand four hundred fifty
euros or. the foreign 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 or not 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 in starting to be a sticking point. ninety four percent of buyers here aren't from saxony that means this is currently a market where normal saxon's can't participate even if. the close 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 move for a living space. the purchase price of an eighty square meter apartment has soared in the last ten years. one thing 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. c. of oil and you want to get your shoes dirty mr guy here. studious. while the class family has a tate's others us napping up the houses on the market and the and how did he make
a killing again he did did he get another bargain especially among them with getting repeat offenders year they buy one house after another this is the third right it's his second of his second complete one and the apartments before we went for a meal and i said it won't cost less than four point five and he got it for three so i'm very easy right. it was a 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 district is often. where 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 says he anymore. why did you come but you did state that i did this is why i think behind this is the most basic question does profit for the one mean loss for the other as.
today's typical property by as a rich people well off retirees as and investments in things like until the obvious like to must close and his colleagues can only look on the disabled market it's just. shows with a shock 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. use a state machine that probably also creates housing that doesn't meet the needs of the city and most of the population was too scary because many people are being left behind basically by few of the stink of blame the same 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 a nice my limited assertion its
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 the eastern part of berlin. 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. arrives and his security guard stays close by when he's here he usually gets police protection saw. it well 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. pressure this goes nice whether. they were meeting me for the first time we could call the birth of the boogey men and when they get to see an entrepreneur who is arguments on his side and won't back down or mission's try and i did i tell you i didn't believe how would i know god was doing anything i believe and. i know. this is a business and it's precisely this stupid thinking that prevails in society thinking there's always a direct connection and he makes money and it's become wealthy so he must have stolen it from someone that we just had and i'm going it's all about politics and that he's charging twelve years a square meter nobody can afford that different sort of oil spill we have smaller apartments thirty five forty fifty square meters which any nurse can afford even at fourteen years a square meter high fence 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 eight euros 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. in 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 really 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.
all the hundreds of 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 something. that is how you would look a bit odd when you drive around towing a dead deer in a trailer people sometimes find that a little strange. when loaded on months one macro to. the counties is to transport dead stacks is an old austrian military vehicle. and back full time uses it and the three hundred hecht as a forest he owns somewhere in central germany where not allowed to say exactly where back was his condition finessing us film him. discretion. is everything. wired to visits and owning a forest is a wonderful feeling because you have the run of it so to speak. out.
i think it was the publisher of the site counters don't know if you want 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 again and thing it did when i was sure and infinit visits. now you go also we had the great inequality that exists. in real money all folks which of his we wanted for the economy and it's unavoidable the mothers to decide
basically 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. that incidentally you think that things are by and large fair in germany so again. 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 in my eyes the lord of the country one hundred. years. during the week from best all time walks with a view of the man river and frankfurt he had what he calls the family office this exclusive establishment is essential a what used to be known as a private bank is more like that it 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 look at it this alter out so floor of this handle this bannister you don't often find them in frankfurt today and hunt for toward the newest 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 those 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 and with real estate you also have apartments and commercial buildings and maybe even logistics you stick. in stocks maybe thirty
percent no matter what you might put ten percent into pensions and ten percent in cash the rest is invested in other things 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 everyone supposedly had to start from scratch if you wanted to get rich you had to work your way up according to the math. that's what a massive backlog shortly before the first world war a former interior ministry official published an almanac of millionaires. in the under mint in these books you still find numerous names that look very familiar today. lemons
if you look at the list of the wealthy you get the impression that old money plays a huge role among the fortunes today i'm high it's about being on also from the bottom line. of. the alps junction d. and d. music gap between those who only have work and those who belong to the upper class has increased enormously if i take for close 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 i.e. get to tell a 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. when this to be searched you were all enthusiastic and a bit dazzled by the idea and the beautiful project with the machine and by the question about whom the project is aimed at the least well young families like you . that's on the one hand that's flattering but on the other hand when you then hear the price and think about it again this these are dimensions where i say that a family like us are out of it from you me from you 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 euro i don't even know how many annual incomes that would be nice and calm in the civilian. so at some point you start to
worry that the step downwards into the lower middle class is much closer than a step up into the upper middle class when you're a little 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 market 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. but in recent months thousands have sent and comments online for this film project under the hashtag on black land. 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 net a civil engineer nearly two thousand at
a medical specialist with twelve years of training two thousand seven hundred sixty eight nash. and come of three thousand five hundred euros puts a single person in germany's top ten percent of the annus accumulated wealth is particularly unequal half the population has less than seventeen thousand euros in reserve that would let the maya base model b.w. gulf who shoes in 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 in front fast. the vast majority of the games and income have gone 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 and 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 could have shrinkage of the middle classes then you really have been in 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 our they doing their playing tactically. cust of colona has paid for a place in a luxury suite in leipzig main soccer 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 a ticket i'm actually paying two thousand for mine there's a certain justice there no type of up. at the family office in frankfurt the banks and forrester has come to call. well it's i brought all the figures let's start with finland. because ten from vestal time has been using his clients' money to buy up forests and 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 disputants a tradition copying and. now torture 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 off so prices double triple quadruple over the past ten or fifteen years so 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 coming in where can you invest money you know safely invested or invested very profitably. it's an intrinsic conflict. when we quit can we briefly talk about europe way how does the return look relative to our plans. we were doing quite well i deserve
why is our most conservative project it's. you know this is a new global food of capitalism financial capitalism. 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 morish is 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 or the family business. the family office is the starting point of a global investment chain. the wealthy in trust for the 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. but we just glad 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 changes and when the signal jumps to yellow or red fewer of the market. doesn't get where you have the curve is flat and you can see it because the signal isn't dark green it does market timing for 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 going quantitative i would normally 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 where we would intervene in the traffic 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. but 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. now actually in germany everyone thinks he can join you at your bank as a trainee at eighteen. and become an authorized signatory and then eventually department head and then retire at the age of sixty five as a class b. director with a palm tree in the office and a chair with armrests that world is definitely over that's for sure but 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 dawson kuntz 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 and society in there is a 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 retires with or without a pantry. with a lot of them going on with your we have employees who have been trained here they've worked 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 but the staff and i are very attached to what we do here together
during the day. in the mines up to. this that it was just recently zaman's posted six billion euros in annual profits but then maureen rumors began circulating investors were reportedly putting pressure on the company saying this plant wasn't fit for the future. because you know actually nothing is secure even everyday life living in a rented apartment is in secure we're currently secured by a single income and that is now on a very very shaky legs when you suddenly realize that when you get a situation like the one we're in now it was just invented to us who introduced me to it's just. a few streets away from the siemens plant. 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 writing 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 of 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. this is mine and which of us sees 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 with the guy you have to offer not me victor that is yes yes we do capital markets yes yes we have to refinance ourselves yes we have to reposition ourselves. if 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 i have a nice evening and thank you thank. you. at some point every company reaches a certain size where its banking and financing structures are no longer sufficient that it's a good time i have to deal with the financial institutions and all that system would soon survive 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 that's for sure.
hear what's coming up for the good with so much movement at the famously get this thing. going to school here. it's toxic of all that means for the taking of course . one does legal. fifteen minutes on the job and. more than sixty suicides in the french police force last year and. officers face a constant battle against the public cost of living overwork and above all the dangers of terrorists. many feel abandoned by their government. can come to mean of the french. in thirty minutes on w.
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shades what motivates him how does he think and feel private moments in the life of a great fashion designer. someone smart and tough it starts september not w. there have been more demonstrations in the german city of candidates but unlike earlier in the week there was no violence of supporters of the until immigration party the f d n a counter demonstration marched through the streets this week's protest followed the stabbing to death of a german man forty two suspects a syrian and an iraqi have been detained. the united states is cutting off its funding for the u.n. agency that helps palestinian refugees across the middle east the state department said.