Umělec magazine 2009/2 >> Let´s make money - the film about the crisis List of all editions.
Let´s make   money -   the film about the crisis
Umělec magazine
Year 2009, 2
6,50 EUR
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

Let´s make money - the film about the crisis

Umělec magazine 2009/2


Clemens Foschi | essay | en cs de

Erwin Wagenhofer’s Let’s Make Money is a film about the financial crisis that takes a look at the conduct and consequences of worldwide financial transactions. The film came out in September, a successor to his previous documentary We Feed the World, which focused on the globalization of food production.
After three years of research around the globe, Wagenhofer returns to reveal capitalism’s unfettered power and predatory global practices, now normal everyday occurrences in the finance world—a hair-raising reality. This is shown in contrast to the world of the underdog, the majority of the world’s population. And the environment, of course.
Just as in his previous film, the message he drives home is that we are all part of the problem. Wagenhofer does with us in the theatre what the market does with us in reality. We’re in the midst of the action—whether we want to be or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bank account holder, private pension plan holder or a hobby trader. Capital is injected into the global finance system and it runs its course.
The director hangs back and relies upon the impact of photos and testimonies of experts. He interviews bankers and construction workers, farmers and real estate agents, whom he encourages to speak without a filter. He thereby expresses his views through the rhythm of the film cuts and through brief sound bytes. It works. The photos are strongly effective and extremely evocative.
There are thousands of examples of this system’s consequences. In developing countries, as well as in Europe, working conditions have been steadily
declining for years to the great benefit of share-holder values. The open cynicism presented by finance gurus is also surprising. In the film, the president of Templeton Emerging Markets declares “The best time to buy shares is when blood is sticking to the street.”
With the help of World Bank credit, Burkina Faso’s cotton monoculture industry produces cotton for low wages for the world market. The consequences are increasing ground erosion and minimal economic prospects due to the small profit margin. The gold mines in Ghana, also established with World Bank support, are another example. Exactly 3% of the profits stay in the country while the miners work for the lowest of wages and put their health on the line.
The film does not spare Europe: we fly soundlessly in a helicopter over a deserted, concrete jungle of slowly rotting vacation homes along the coast of Spain. A “cement tsunami” has swallowed the last of the natural beauty. Investments… The profit rate for real estate companies and banks: a whopping 20%. Three million empty houses and 800 golf courses erected in the desert use as much water as a city of 16 million inhabitants. Maintenance and eventual razing costs fall on taxpayers.
But the film doesn’t make the mechanism of the unregulated system perfectly clear. It pictorially conveys the consequences while its success at the box office shows the level of people’s interest today. It’s up to the viewer to decide what they take away from the documentary.
As everyone has known since the outbreak of the crisis, not even the banks knew the details of their portfolios. How should private investors grasp the evermore complex structure of the capital market? They also strive for higher yields at the lowest possible risk. Fund brochures offer relatively little information about yields. But everyone knows someone who knows someone who was able to double his investment on the stock market in two years. How can you pass up a work-free income? So you take your money to the bank and let yourself be talked into a commodities certificate, biotech shares or monthly payments into a (state-funded) private pension by a generally clueless bank employee.
And you’re already playing along.
The evil manifests itself through the quest for maximum yields. This abstract mechanism causes financial pressure, which results in sinking costs of labor and the exploitation of resources and human capital. The Invisible Hand, as Adam Smith would have described, doesn’t take into account social or ecological conditions. Capital is collected from the Haves, free from racism and prejudices, and determines the scenarios and the working conditions of the have-nots. Market regulation would best be handled by the state or, better yet, supranational organizations. The collapse of the bull market impacted “only” losers of globalization—roughly 80% of the world’s population. The film makes this very clear.
And now the impact is upon us. Fear of long-term recession, rising unemployment and bankrupt states is widespread. State rescue efforts focus on crippled banking systems. This seems to be essential to guarantee functioning economies. Those who caused the crisis will be rescued using taxpayer money. This may at least result in the opportunity to control banks and finally establish internationally binding regulations for financial markets. But the approach remains focused on national rescue packages without substantial conditions for the affected institutes and markets. This said, the announcement of a bailout of 18 billion dollars for Wall Street bankers for 2008 was announced January 30, 2009.
Let’s make money!



There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation
"In Cameroon, rumours abound of zombie-labourers toiling on invisible plantations in an obscure night-time economy."
The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s
The editors of Umělec have decided to come up with a list of ten artists who, in our opinion, were of crucial importance for the Czech art scene in the 1990s. After long debate and the setting of criteria, we arrived at a list of names we consider significant for the local context, for the presentation of Czech art outside the country and especially for the future of art. Our criteria did not…
Magda Tóthová Magda Tóthová
Borrowing heavily from fairy tales, fables and science fiction, the art of Magda Tóthová revolves around modern utopias and social models and their failures. Her works address personal and social issues, both the private and the political. The stylistic device of personification is central to the social criticism emblematic of her work and to the negotiation of concepts used to construct norms.…
Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille
We’re constantly hearing that someone would like to do some joint project, organize something together, some event, but… damn, how to put it... we really like what you’re doing but it might piss someone off back home. Sure, it’s true that every now and then someone gets kicked out of this institution or that institute for organizing something with Divus, but weren’t they actually terribly self…
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Spaghetti Sauce on Your Moo Shoo Pork
Charlie Citron
Road trip Lithuania
Road trip Lithuania
Arunase Gudaitas
Aš menininkas — Aš save myliu Vincent van Gogh in one letter to his brother described a café as a place where one could easily go insane. The café in the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Vilnius is such a place. Insider connoisseurs of the local scene consider it “very bohemian” and, indeed, in contrast to traditionally lackluster and overpriced eateries in museums, the atmosphere in the CAC…
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Alena Boika
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
1996, 35 x 42.5 cm, Pen & Ink Drawing
More info...
669,60 EUR
777 USD
Modest as it looks, the SCPh (Strange Curly Phallus) pile can actually boast to be a combination of modern medical science,...
More info...
21,60 EUR
25 USD
15cm x 21 x 0,7 cm / 32p / sérigraphie 4 passages couleur / 200 ex
More info...
10 EUR
12 USD
Pencil Drawing, 21.5 x 28 cm
More info...
216 EUR
251 USD


Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts

Kyjov 36-37, 407 47 Krásná Lípa
Čzech Republic


GALLERY, +420 222 264 830, +420 606 606 425
open from Wednesday to Sunday between 10am to 6pm
and on appointment.


CAFÉ & BOOKSHOP, +420 222 264 830, +420 606 606 425
open from Wednesday to Sunday between 10am to 10pm
and on appointment.


STUDO & PRINTING, +420 222 264 830, +420 602 269 888
open from Monday to Friday between 10am to 6pm


Ivan Mečl,, +420 602 269 888


Palo Fabuš,

Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford
London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 7526 902 082







Divus We Are Rising National Gallery For You! Go to Kyjov by Krásná Lípa no.37.