Guest contribution by Harald Kaiser: The drug vanity

How the sweet poison fogged the senses and made politicians and managers believe they were the greatest.

With a little imagination you can see them, the imaginary little wing mirrors on his shoulders. On that of the new US President Donald Trump. Because the apparently boundless vain looks into them almost constantly and wonders when he takes a look: Is the hair dryer mat made of presumably yellowish-orange colored cotton wool and hairspray holder? Do I look sharp? The supposed almighty from New York with his current main residence in Washington has only focused on himself. It's about: I, I, I!

Harold Kaiser

The principle of the brutal politician, who likes to insult everyone instead of being polite and paying respect, is trivial. One can get the impression that he sees himself as a kind of adult Pampers rocker with the odor-inducing motto: It is good to stink with full pants. Record the weather! I am the doer! This is how he runs the world's largest economy. Basically no different from a french fries booth where only one person turns the sausages on the hot rack, mixes ketchup, pours colas and leads the cash register with oily fingers. At such counters, great tones are often spewed about beloved or hated sports clubs, the immobility of the crusted political business or the wage economy complained of. Trump wants to use the ax. He says. Of all people who, with every fiber, with their connections and also thanks to their supposedly huge mountain of money, count themselves among this self-proclaimed elite. So far, however, his ax has been blunt.

No idea what such a political bankruptcy triggers with the presidential bogus giant. Do you have any doubts that he doesn't fit the demanding job? At least they are not noticeable. If his amateurish behavior is not limited by federal courts or the constitution in other matters, there is another mechanism that gives hope that the constantly tweeting steamroller can possibly be tamed by an underestimated power: through the financial markets. Because you have to know that 42 percent of the debt, i.e. government bonds that the United States sold for trillions of dollars, is in foreign hands. China or Japan for example. Debt securities are trust capital that has always been covered by the prospering US economy. But trust is a shy deer. Especially when it comes to such unimaginable sums with which the USA is brutally in chalk with the oh so unloved foreign countries. If the deer senses danger, meaning: losses, then the attentive animal quickly searches for safe terrain and hits the bushes.

"We are driven by greed and power"

So if even a state investor is fed up with the president's steam hammer policy, then a tiny finger in the financial world is enough to claim the money back. And pronto at the click of a mouse. In other words: Then everything will slip. The United States would have to quickly put out trillions of dollars. Money that the gigantic indebted state does not have. Unless the money printing machines were thrown to serve the creditors. But this inevitably pushes up inflation and prices and costs jobs that Trump so desperately wants to create. The Moneymaker in the White House should actually know what the most delicate structure of government finances is and above all this: in the financial world, greed applies first, but diplomacy also applies in connection with the political arena. Either Trump has lost sight of this because of his constant and caring looks for his beauty in the imaginary shoulder mirrors - or he does not know the situation or he does not care. Because it's only about one: him.

The writer of these lines has experienced similar behavior not at the presidential level, but with DAX board members. Because the also extremely power-conscious gentlemen are often not only just as important, they can also be embarrassingly vain. That evening years ago that I remember like yesterday, my image of executives and role models cracked. In a Frankfurt restaurant I had dinner with two board members. It was an evening during the International Motor Show. Both came from world-famous automakers. The meeting was supposed to be a sort of elite position determination for me, but I could not know that yet. The conversation splashed along with a tasty fish dish. We talked about cars, the inept politicians and the brief glory of success. After dessert, one of the gentlemen switched on an arrogant smile, picked up a champagne glass, looked his colleague of the same rank in the eye (only for a very short time) and revealed a secret when toasting (including me): "Ha, we know what drives us, greed and power. ”I almost choked when I heard that. The person addressed directly grinned broadly. I do not know whether he was surprised that the colleague betrayed “his” or the “general” driving force of the makers. Or whether he was as embarrassed as me. In any case: the sentence was not simply said. He was called. So that the guests at the neighboring tables turned to us. Shortly afterwards the dinner was over, we went our separate ways and both of them have long since ceased to function.

Many succumb to the eroticism of an office

At the time, I went back to the hotel believing that it must have been an isolated case. After this experience, I wondered if I ever had role models. There was nobody with whom the model cliché fits 100 percent. I always felt inspired by political monuments like Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt or Richard von Weizsäcker. Especially the former Federal President of Weizsäcker, whose intellectual brilliance still gives me goosebumps. I cannot answer whether I have ever orientated myself on the figures mentioned or whether I have even learned anything from them. But at least there was always a tiny spark of hope that all the struggles and struggles of these great men could be outstanding statesmen. But how can one expect that from the building lion who has just become president and who is constantly producing headlines instead of serious politics and who apparently does not seem to know any content drive other than the ego drive that only succumbs to the eroticism of the office?

Only if someone has gone the ox tour all the way up, has experienced icy times, was sometimes only able to save themselves from dangerous abysses with luck, or because a fellow worker held out his helping hand, had to rely on the sure-footedness of others and rope teams, then such should someone knows what is important: above all credibility. But such guys apparently ignore the fact that they should move mountains and create value after arriving at the summit. Or they had no intention of doing so when they laced up their boots in the valley for the long climb. In many cases, it is just a matter of hanging out some real experts with as little effort and a lot of dazzle as possible, who can not put themselves in the limelight.

Overdose of vanity and excessive selfishness

I know it is a prejudice, but since the experience with the board members at dinner, I often find myself getting this image template out if I want or have to get a picture of a pre-gymnast. The bad thing is: it fits many. Let's take just one case. The worst that has existed in the German post-war economy so far: Jürgen Schrempp and his world AG from Daimler-Benz, Chrysler and Mitsubishi, which has long been in ruins. This type of doer, who ruled Daimler for ten years (1995-2005), not only scrapped money but, much worse, values. Values ​​that cannot be expressed in money, but rather what companies and entire countries really live from: passion, excellent expertise and credibility. These values ​​were crashed with Schmackes. The lesson to be learned from this is that it is often just a matter of fuss. To the vain of the peacocks while beating the wheel. The stupid thing about negative role models like Schrempp, however, is that even when he was kicked out more than ten years ago, some nerds would have said: "I don't know what you want, the man has financially renovated himself." and the overdose of vanity, with which the world's own leadership potential is to be demonstrated, raised to a general maxim. See Trump or Schrempp. Your Playmate is the bank statement.

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