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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” Here’s what’s coming up.
Corporate profit or common good? Measuring value in today’s economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SURANNE JONES, ACTRESS, GENTLEMAN JACK”: I was born like this. Why should I compromise myself?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A woman with a head for business and a heart for lesbian love in the 1800s. The extraordinary new British period drama “Gentleman Jack” on
Then, can everyone have a piece of the pie? Investor, Ray Dalio, says capitalism needs to be more inclusive.
And why French big business is pouring billions into rebuilding Notre Dame. How technology will help it rise like a phoenix from the ashes of that
Welcome to the program, everyone. I’m Christiane Amanpour in London.
The race to the White House has well and truly begun. There are now 20 Democratic candidates throwing their hat into the ring. But while they
differ on many policies, climate dominates as a critical issue for the first time in a presidential election.
Mass protests have taken off around the world. The climate movement is well and truly here. So, can Washington and other major world capitals
Our next guest says the bold initiatives like the Green New Deal are often mistakenly dismissed as unrealistic and their supporters branded as
fiscally irresponsible. Mariana Mazzucato is an award-winning economist who says the heart of this problem lies in how we measure value in society.
Often prioritizing profit over the public good. Her new book “The Value of Everything” offers insight into how people might push global leaders to
think bigger now. She joined me here in London to talk about it.
Mariana Mazzucato, welcome to the program.
MARIANA MAZZUCATO, AUTHOR, “THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING”: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, you’ve been spending a lot of your career kind of looking at capitalism, questioning capitalism, questioning the way the market and the
economy work. So, your latest is “The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy.”
So, first and foremost, I was really interested about the way you differentiate between takers and makers, the people who extract value and
wealth and the people who create value and wealth.
AMANPOUR: Can you explain that concept and why one is more rewarded than the other?
MAZZUCATO: Sure. So, first of all, I’m quite careful to not do maker versus taker but making versus taking. So, having it be a verb kind of
signifies that we can change things, right, if we actually decide what to do. And so —
AMANPOUR: And it’s much less ad hominem?
MAZZUCATO: Yes. And it’s not us versus them. You know, for example, it’s not about the big bad, you know, financial sector and the great industry.
Actually, industry is currently operating in a really problematic way and there are certain parts of finance that are really interesting.
For example, to get innovation we need patient, long-term committed finance. So, the problem is not finance but when that finance is too
short-term, too speculative or when in the U.K., for example, we have 90 percent of the banking resources going back into the financial sector, only
10 percent finds its way into the real economy. That’s a problem. So, you know, questioning how to change that.
So, the — what I try to do is I kind of bring it back to something really nice that Plato said, you know, the famous philosopher. He said,
“Storytellers rule the world.” So, my question is, what are the stories that we’re currently telling and the discourses, the narratives about where
value comes from? And could it be that it’s those very stories that are actually promoting quite a bit of inequality? Because we actually have
lots of different people and actors and organizations required to create value, but if we only have stories about some of them, then how do we
distribute the profits when they come about?
AMANPOUR: So, break it down. What is — what are the — what is the making and what is the taking?
MAZZUCATO: Right. So, the real question is, can we identify what’s required to create stuff, you know, new goods and services? So, consider
your smartphone or any of your smart products. What actually makes it smart and not stupid was lots of publicly financed technology. So, the
internet, GPS, Siri, touch screen display, your smartphone would be nothing without that.
Now, do we actually have a system whereby the profits that are generated from the companies that very smartly through their great sense of design
and simplicity like Apple, whether the profits that are generated from what is really a collectively created wealth system, the degree to which those
rewards also go back into, say, the social infrastructure, which enabled it.
Or think of medicines. In many countries like in the U.S., the state actually finances lots of the medical research. So, something like 75
percent of really revolutionary kind of blockbuster drugs trace their funding to that kind of research. And in the U.S., they spend over $30
billion a year. That’s what Uncle Sam spends on pharmaceutical innovation. And then the pricing system that’s applied to those medicines doesn’t take,
you know, that into account at all.
There’s actually a formula called value-based pricing, the word value is there but it’s misused, it’s misrepresented. So, literally, the
pharmaceutical companies can charge whatever they want. The point is that there’s lots of different actors in the system and if we’re only rewarding
some of them and not the full system, then actually the capitalist system itself isn’t sustainable.
AMANPOUR: Is it possible to turn that around and how would one do that?
MAZZUCATO: Well, first, we have to redefine what we mean by the market. You began by saying, you know, “We have the market and the state.” But
actually, the market itself is an outcome of how public and private and third sector, so civil society organizations, including trade unions,
So, we really have to start asking ourselves, what kind of market outcomes do we want and what does that mean, also, for the kinds of governance
structures within the organization. and that would include the state organizations. So, I think we have a crisis of the state today. The state
has kind of bought into this idea that at best it can just tinker and kind of fix what economists call market failures, when actually some of the most
interesting successes in modern day capitalism were when we had market cocreation, where both public and private and civil society organizations
really felt that they were co-creating a new space.
AMANPOUR: So, like what recently?
MAZZUCATO: Well, the digital revolution would not have happened if the state was just thinking of a taxation, some sort of indirect tax incentive.
AMANPOUR: And all we think of, though, is the Silicon Valley geniuses. We think that it all came from there.
MAZZUCATO: Absolutely. But, you know, just think of the big discussion today around the green economy. We really should learn — if we want a
green revolution, we should learn what happened in the digital revolution, the state led and the private sector followed. But also, there was really
interesting contracts in place.
So, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Bell Labs, it was a really innovative R&D laboratory, research and development laboratory, inside
AT&T. That happened because the state forced AT&T to reinvest its profits in order to maintain its monopoly status.
And today, you have companies, again, like Exxon, large, you know, energy companies not reinvesting their profits back in and yet, they also hold
large, you know, monopolistic power, if you want, across many different economies or patents, intellectual property rights are also contracts in
some ways that the government gives a company to get 20 years of a monopoly profit with very few conditions attached.
AMANPOUR: You mentioned a Green New Deal and you’ve written a paper on missions, right?
AMANPOUR: You’ve written a thing on missions. So, you’re really into this. But the people who don’t want to do this, the politicians who just
think it’s for the birds, like a Mitch McConnell, for instance, and his ilk, say things like, “The radical left-wing of the Democratic Party has
unveiled their Green New Deal, a socialist fantasy to wreck our economy and fundamentally altering our way of life. On their wish list, ending air
travel, destroying American energy, banning cow farts, yes, cow farts.”
So, I guess, you know, that’s a flourish, a colorful flourish to their basic premise that anything green is going to harm not only the economy but
the American way of life. How do you fight that politically, culturally and economically?
MAZZUCATO: So, I think, again, it’s really useful to ask ourselves what do we know about previous big changes that were as ambitious as the Green New
Deal, what had to happen? Did you need a socialist or communist to put them forth or what’s — what was required was also, for example, a very
ambitious and inspirational plan that then got lots of different actors together to focus on that plan and government, in particular, to use
everything it had at its disposal, procurement policy, that means government purchasing, price schemes, grants and loans for that, right?
AMANPOUR: Like the moon.
MAZZUCATO: So, think of the moon shot.
MAZZUCATO: Think of the moon shot, right. I mean, what was interesting is the challenge was the space race. But going to the moon and back again in
a generation was a mission that you could actually answer yes or no, did you achieve it. And in order to do that, lots of different sectors had to
invest and innovate. It wasn’t just aeronautics in the same way that the Green New Deal would not work if it was just renewable energy. There was
investment in nutrition. You couldn’t eat a hamburger up in space. There was investment in textiles and clothing, and also lots of bottom-up
projects. These were the kind of lessons that I tried to speak about with AOC when we met a couple times.
And so, I think what she has learned from that and also what she’s pushing through, you know, with all the different people she’s speaking about is
really that you need both the supply side and the demand side. And one of the things I mentioned to her, I said, “Imagine mass production, right,
that was a huge revolution back 100 years. That would not have had the effect it did have across production, distribution, consumption,
productivity, literally across the entire economy, had there not also been demand side pull policies.”
So, for example, suburbanization. People didn’t just wake up and go live in New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey, hence, I use that example. There
was real suburbanization policies which actually then fueled the diffusion and full deployment of all those mass produced products.
AMANPOUR: Why do you think the older guard in the Democratic Party, whether it’s Senator Feinstein or her ilk, are not convinced of
the younger guard’s desire for this Green New Deal moon shot? They’re talking about incremental, they’re talking about how you have to make it
politically sustainable, et cetera, et cetera. What would you say to them? What’s the argument?
MAZZUCATO: Well, first, I would say, “Come on. You know, be a bit more imaginative. Start dreaming.” You know, that Kennedy speech about the
moon shot. One should really listen to it. I mean, he really said, you know, “It might be crazy, but we’re going to do it and it’s going to be
worth it. We’re really going to — you know, this is going to fuel economic growth.”
So, the first thing is to just remember that so many periods of economic growth were fueled by actually, you know, leaders in different arenas
having that imagination. But the second thing is, we are currently wasting a lot of money in other ways.
MAZZUCATO: Often, governments make mistakes because they spend a lot of, if you want — well, money, funds in just trying to incentivize business.
The assumption is business already wants to do something and you give them some sort of tax incentive to do it. But the truth is, business often is
pretty happy doing what it’s doing. Perhaps at the side as well.
AMANPOUR: Haven’t we seen that since the global financial crisis? That for instance — I mean, I’m probably wrong but I’m just trying to see
whether I’m right here.
AMANPOUR: You know, the big banks, the big finance, they were bailed out and yet, they didn’t go and then reinvest in people and loan to people and
small business people and individuals, right? They just hoarded it.
MAZZUCATO: Yes. We socialized the risks but privatized the rewards. That’s why it’s also very interesting that the Green New Deal isn’t about
sort of the green technology, it’s also about the social rewards and how to divide them and how to share them. Not in some sort of socialist,
communist sense but really, if we are together going to have this economic transformation, how can we make sure the rewards are collectively
AMANPOUR: All the, well, Democratic candidates are talking about the economy and their plans, those who want to contest the 2020 election.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is getting a huge amount of attention. He’s just announced his run for the presidency. And he obviously turned around the
Town of South Bend where he’s the mayor. He was asked whether he’s a capitalist or a socialist or whatever, and this was his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE BUTTIGIEG, MAYOR OF SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: It’s got to be Democratic capitalism, and that part’s really important and it’s slipping away from
us. And when you have capitalism capturing democracy, when you have the kind of regulatory capture where powerful corporations are able to arrange
the rules for their benefit, that’s not real capitalism. If you want to see what happens when you have capitalism without democracy, you can see it
very clearly in Russia. It turns into crony capitalism and that turns into oligarchy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, so, the obvious question is, is the United States on its way to that kind of crony capitalism oligarchy?
MAZZUCATO: There’s many choices that can be made. And I would say that the way that the United States is currently set up, which is not so
different, unfortunately, from how many western countries across — well, across the West are set up is that we are — and this is what I mean in the
book, we are rewarding this value extraction over value creation. So, there’s no reason why the financial sector should have been so free to be
not just deregulated but to literally capture so much of the wealth that’s being created and then not to funnel those funds back into the economy.
That’s an outcome of really bad deals.
But we can change that. Again, actually understanding from history and thinking about the future, it’s fundamental and the Green New Deal is not
AMANPOUR: Mariana, thank you so much. “The Value of Everything” and the storytellers have to change.
And in a moment, investor, Ray Dalio, gives us his take on today’s wealth gap. But first, America is crazy in love with English period drama like
“Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”
Now, on HBO comes “Gentleman Jack.” It is an English period drama with a twist because the gentleman in question is a she and the series showcases
her extraordinary life, a dynamic take charge businesswoman in the 1830s who boldly lives exactly as she wants and she marries a woman.
Now, the actress is Suranne Jones and the writer and director is Sally Wainwright. And I’ve been speaking to both in New York about their
Sally Wainwright and Suranne Jones, welcome to the program.
SALLY WAINWRIGHT, WRITER AND DIRECTOR, “GENTLEMAN JACK”: Hi.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Sally, since you created this, it really is an amazing story and an English drama is so well received around the world,
including where you are right now, the United States. But what made you choose this particular topic? How did you even know about the famous or
infamous Anne Lister?
WAINWRIGHT: Well, I grew up in Halifax, which is where the drama is set and where Shibden Hall is. And I used to visit Shibden Hall a lot as a
child and there was never any mention of Anne Lister. It’s like she was a bit of a secret for a long time. And I was amazed that I had grown up in
this area that I knew Shibden Hall really well and I knew nothing about this extraordinary woman.
AMANPOUR: Isn’t that because she was a lesbian and she had these amazing life and people didn’t talk about it for some reason, even until
WAINWRIGHT: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. She was hidden away because of her sexuality. And obviously, times have changed and we
now live in a world where we can talk about these things. But she’s kind of still being discovered. You know, she’s still be — she should be world
famous and I hope she will be very soon, but she’s — you know, we’re still getting there with Anne Lister.
And, you now, of course, she’s most famous for her journal, her huge diary, the 27 volumes, the 5 million words of the journal. Most of which is yet
to be transcribed.
AMANPOUR: Suranne Jones —
AMANPOUR: — what did you think when you were asked to portray this really dashing, charismatic, amusing woman who made no bones about — I mean, she
obviously didn’t talk about her sexuality but she dressed like a man and yet, she was also — you know, she had a real feminine streak as well.
JONES: Well, first of all, I’m 40, Anne Lister is 41. So, for a 40-year- old actress to find a character like this that is full bodied, three dimensional and complex was an absolute gift. And I think only Sally could
have written this the way it’s been written.
It’s funny, it’s human, it’s courageous, it’s vulnerable at times, it’s all the things that Anne Lister is. And Sal manages to weave the story of her
being an industrialist at the time of the industrial revolution, of her being an astute businesswoman, let alone all that before we come to her
sexuality. It’s — there’s a beautiful complex coming out story with her and Walker, played by the brilliant Sophie Rundle.
AMANPOUR: Let us play a little clip that we’ve been given to play, which actually shows her forcefulness and how she’s a woman who’s not going to be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, good God.
JONES: Whoa. Can you help this man down? Struck a pothole. The driver was torn from his seat and his arm was dislocated and shattered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, then, ma’am, it’s lucky you were there to step in.
JONES: No one else seemed disposed to rise to the occasion and I had no intention of arriving home any alert than necessary. How are you, Bill?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, ma’am. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a reckless undertaking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam.
JONES: All were given the opportunity to (INAUDIBLE) and walk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, she’s not going to be messed with, ladies.
JONES: She certainly isn’t. No, no.
AMANPOUR: What was it like channeling her, Suranne, you know, not just that but also wearing that amazing sort of period costume, was that
comfortable for you?
JONES: We played with gender. And so, we worked with the male and female teams there and I wear male boots, male gaiters, male underwear but on a
female corset, some of the waistcoats fasten male and then I have a lovely female piece (ph) on top, male stocks and then, of course, the top hat made
by our brilliant milliner.
So, the whole process right from the off was brilliant and myself and Sally were — gave ourselves a luxury of rehearsals as well to figure out the
physicality. And the diaries, we have the information that she walked fast, she walked upright, she looked like a man, she was mistaken for a
man, she had a deep voice, she had a masculine stance. So, we just worked with that, really, and we had a lot of fun doing that.
AMANPOUR: You talk about the diaries and we really do want to get there because this is what’s really unique about Anne Lister and her place in
history, really, to the point that UNESCO has made her diaries a sort of global heritage to be protected. I mean, I described it as saucy, as some
WAINWRIGHT: I’ve dipped in and out of it across the whole 27 years that it covers, but I’ve concentrated mainly on the 1830s because that’s the period
of Anne’s life that I’m most interested in. The plain hand that she writes in is quite difficult until you become familiar with it to read. So, it’s
quite — it can be quite a laborious process.
And then the coded parts, six of the diaries written in her various pricked hand, this secret code that she invented where she recorded her more
intimate thoughts predominantly.
JONES: Those are your saucy bits.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, I mean, look, you’ve described it as the Rosetta Stone of lesbian life and lesbian love.
WAINWRIGHT: I haven’t described it as that. That’s — I don’t know who coined that phrase. Before Anne Lister’s diary was decoded, there was no
written record of that level of affection between women. And for the first time, we saw that in the age of Jane Austen, women were having
lesbian relationships which — there was just no the record of that because it wasn’t illegal for women to be gay. It was illegal for men to be gay
but not women because it was so invisible. It was beneath beyond even being illegal.
And so, there were court records that tell us that men were having gay relationships because it was a criminal act. But there’s nothing —
there’s not even criminal records to show that women were doing that. So, until Anne Lister’s diary was decoded, there was no evidence that the women
had such deep affectionate relationships.
AMANPOUR: That is amazing. I actually didn’t know that about the criminalization of female homosexuality, that it wasn’t a crime in those
days. And perhaps maybe that might explain, then — Suranne, I wonder if you can weigh in on this, now, there is a plaque dedicated to Anne Lister
and obviously to Anne Walker.
I mean, that’s, you know, 180 years or so before gay marriage was approved here in the U.K. Wow. I mean, that is unbelievable. Now, I kind of maybe
understand why, because it wasn’t a crime, although it wasn’t talked about.
JONES: No, it wasn’t talked about. And you’ll see throughout the series that as they — as we watched their love affair and relationship develop,
Anne Lister always wanted — she believed in marriage and she believed that she wanted to have a wife and this is language that, as you say, was used
in 1834. She wanted to live with someone, share her life. She had no interest in marrying someone for money or for show, for appearances, and
it’s still mind blowing, and the plaque went up a couple of weeks before we filmed at the actual place where they took their ceremony. And they did it
in secret, but they managed to live together.
AMANPOUR: Interesting because the plaque is surrounded by the rainbow colors, obviously. And interestingly, you bring up the fact that she never
wanted to marry a man, she never wanted to marry for fortune. But I wonder, you know, if you can just reflect on this, and I think it’s really
interesting, this is from the show, “I was born like this, and I act as my God-given nature dictates. If I were to lie with a man, surely that would
be unnatural. Surely that would be against God. He made us, every one of us, in all our richness and variety.”
And, Sally, it seems to me you are either taking her words or making a point that her view of her homosexuality was not at odds with her view of
being a committed Christian.
WAINWRIGHT: No, it wasn’t at all. She absolutely believed that she’d been made like this. It’s just tying with her character. She believed
everything was for a purpose. She had a really optimistic view of the world and she — it’s also — I feel, that reading between the lines of the
journal that she had very robust mental health and she had a very good opinion of herself. She had a very healthy attitude towards who she was
and a refreshingly healthy attitude towards her homosexuality.
AMANPOUR: Helena Whitbread who is writing Lister’s biography told “The Guardian” her firm belief was that as God had endowed her with her sexual
nature, it would be wrong to act against it. So, that goes to some of what you just said. I want to play another clip, though, which is about women
not being able to vote despite their station in life. This is her and Ann Walker in a group talking about this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: I find myself for the first time excluded from the franchise by my sex.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean? Have you voted before?
JONES: No, of course not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see, I wouldn’t put it past her if she had.
JONES: No, the point is, women have never been specifically denied the vote before. Now, it’s written or it will be in statute, universal male
suffrage. Have 30-odd tenants who may vote but either landowner may not. Isn’t that curious?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But surely, that’s always been that way.
JONES: A male 10-pan householder down in Halifax not vote, such is progress. But I have been told very specifically and very definitely that
I may not. You may not, Ms. Walker, and how many rolling acres and tenants do you have? Exactly. So many you don’t even remember. Yet, no vote.
Don’t talk to me about progress. It’s change that’s unnecessary and entirely in the wrong direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Do you think this kind of story about a strong lesbian protagonist could have been done on television any other time, and how do
you believe it will be received in the United States, I mean, in Britain as well, but especially in the United States?
WAINWRIGHT: I think — I first tried to pitch this about 17 years ago, and I didn’t get anywhere with it. And I’m quite glad I didn’t get anywhere
with it then because I think if I had got it green lit by a broadcaster it would have been quite niche, it would have been — it certainly
wouldn’t have been primetime viewing, And I think — I just think it’s wonderful that times have changed so much that now this is considered
How it will do in the States, you probably know more than we do. Obviously, we hope people are going to — I hope people will really love
and appreciate Anne Lister in the way that I think she deserves to be loved and appreciated.
JONES: I think it’s a brilliant, complex character. It’s a great portrait of a smart, fascinating lesbian lead, and I think it’s a very life
affirming show, and I think that we can do with a bit of that.
AMANPOUR: We can do with a lot of life affirming. Suranne Jones, Sally Wainwright, thank you so much indeed for joining me.
WAINWRIGHT: Thank you.
JONES: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And episode two of the series airs on Monday. Well, back then, defying society’s expectations made you a radical. Today though, it is the
disrupters and innovators who lead. As we heard earlier from Mariana Mazzucato, for years, capitalism was seen as the ultimate equalizer. It
even helped build the American dream. But as the wealth gap widens, calls for reform grow ever louder. And some are coming from the very top.
Ray Dalio is an investor and a philanthropist who manages the most successful hedge fund in the world. He is also the latest in a club of
billionaires to raise the alarm. And he sat down with our Walter Isaacson to discuss why he believes we need change now.
WALTER ISAACSON, CONTRIBUTOR: Ray Dalio, thank you for being with us.
RAY DALIO, FOUNDER, BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATES: Thank you for having me.
ISAACSON: Why are you so worried about capitalism now? As a great capitalist yourself, you seem to always be worrying about where it’s going.
DALIO: Because I think it has to be sustained and work well, and I think it’s not working well for a large percentage of the population. So,
history has shown that when there’s a big wealth, and I would say most importantly, opportunity gap, and there is an economic downturn, and you
have to discuss how to divide the pie, there’s conflict, and it’s a risk to capitalism. It’s a risk to our system.
I don’t think the system is working well for equal opportunity. I grew up in a middle-class, lower middle-class family, had two parents who loved me,
took care of me. I went to a public school that was a good public school and I came out and it was equal opportunity.
And right now, there’s a problem. I divided the economy into two parts. The top 40 percent and the bottom 60 percent. And I looked at them
differently because picture gets lost in the averages. And on the bottom 60 percent, because that’s the majority of people, we have a problem, that
income levels haven’t risen, so on. And I think we’re seeing it reflected in the polarity that’s existing in the election.
ISAACSON: If we have a huge wealth gap that’s growing and causing economic discontent and political discontent, should we have some form of a wealth
DALIO: If you have a wealth tax, and you do it perhaps — this is now a very engineering question — if you do it, perhaps, like the Swiss do it,
which has a small wealth tax to operate in a certain way, that might be totally fine. If you have a wealth tax that causes capital flows that hurt
the country or changes productivity, this is important. So, I’m really approaching it like an engineer in trying to answer the question. Because
I think that there’s a real risk that if you change taxes in a way that adversely affect capital flows or adversely affect productivity, you’re
going to hurt the pie.
Another example would be, there’s — if you change income tax in a certain way, you will naturally have income tax compared with capital gains tax.
And if you look at history, then those who — then they operate as a company, they incorporate. And now, you have a different tax rate as an
individual and a company, and then you have those arbitrages and so on. Does that mean you raise corporate taxes?
My main point here is that to engineer a process by which you don’t — aren’t counterproductive for the whole, that you can make the whole grow,
and you can make the whole grow if you, I think, realize that you’re looking for investment — what is the return on investment, not the budget.
I think so many people pay attention to, are we balancing the budget, and it may be a town budget, it may be a country budget. And if business is ran
that way, you would not have much in the way of improvement. The question is, are you producing a good return on investment? And a good example of
that is education.
Yes, you could celebrate that you balanced the budget, but is it a good investment to have good education for the children? If you look at over
what distinguishes one country from another country, in terms of its success, it’s largely making those good investments in education and
infrastructure and those types of things to make the whole work better so I think that’s most important.
ISAACSON: Well, you’ve written a book with case studies on debt and how debt’s taken on. What principles would you use for the U.S. and for states
taking on more debt?
DALIO: First of all, the – a very important distinction is whether the debt is in your currency or the foreign currency. In either case, you want to
take on a debt that is going to produce an income or cash flow that is greater than the debt service. That’s a basic thing anywhere.
I think we need to do all-in accounting – in other words, let’s take education – and you have a budget problem. The difference between a –
taking a high school student and getting him through high school, in that student’s life for the society is about a million dollars over their
lifetime, because they are at loss of income, because they’re in a position where they maybe are incarcerated.
It costs money to incarcerate them, because of different things. If you take in that all cost, and you were to say, “What does it cost to get a
student, help them to get through high school and complete that,” it’s very little in relationship to that. So, I think we have to look at return on
investment, in terms of thinking are those good returns on investment.
I think it’s stupid not to have good education. It’s very costly. And so, I think that’s a good return on investment. And so, when I look at debt, I
think, “Yes, what’s most costly is to not educate or to not make those changes,” then you pay a terrible price.
ISAACSON: When you look at the debt that the federal government’s now taking on, historically high, I mean, we’re running a huge deficit. Do you
think that debt is being taken on wisely?
DALIO: I think it’s too much. When I do the calculations of what is the size of the debt, and then the productivity of the debt, will it produce a
debt — an income that’s larger than its debt service capability. I think there’s a problem there. And I look at who are the buyers of the debt. I
look at the supply-demand.
And because we are have a world reserve currency, there is – it’s a privileged position that other countries and other savers around the world
like to save in dollars. And that becomes a problem sometimes because that privilege can be abused, and so, it can get you into a position that’s
difficult. We are now going to have to sell that debt to the rest of the world.
And when we do, when I do the calculations, when we at Bridgewater do the calculations, we have a problem figuring out where all that debt is going
to go because we look at the size of the portfolios of those who own it and want to buy it, and it would have to increase by a significant amount, the
percentage of those portfolios. And right now, circumstances are such that it’s unlikely. They’re already overweighed with debt, so I think it’s going
to be a supply-demand challenge.
ISAACSON: Do you think we may be heading into a recession soon?
DALIO: I don’t think you’re going to see like a 2008, `09 financial crisis. The word recession, you know, the only thing it has in common is two
negative quarters of GDP growth, right? There are big ones and there are little ones.
I think that we have a situation in which we’re likely to – the world is likely to go into relative stagnation, very, very slow growth, in which
central banks no longer have monetary power.
And that’s because you can judge the power of them to put on the gas and stimulate economy by the difference between where interest rates are and
zero and the capacity to print money and buy financial assets and have them trickle through the economy.
If we go around the world, Europe is at zero, and the ability to create credit that leads to buying power and pick ups the economy is very, very
limited. Now, Japan is in the position, and the United States isn’t quite in that position, but the United State has a 2.5 percent interest rate, so
it can go down 2.5 percent.
The average contraction, recession, required a 5 percent decrease in interest rates to pull it out. So we have 2.5 percent, and then we could
do some quantitative easing, but we have a risk. And we have that same problem in Japan and the same problem in Europe. So, we’re at a point in
the long-term debt cycle where there’s a challenge to be stimulative at the same time as we have this conflict between populists of the left and
populists of the right.
ISAACSON: And if you have a slowing of the economy, and we’re almost 10 years into this business cycle, to what extent is that going to exacerbate
the wealth gap and incite more of this populist backlash?
DALIO: Well, I think – history has shown this to be true, that if you have a large wealth gap and you have an economic downturn, people fight with
each other about how to divide the pie. And that is something, I think, that risks what we’re – what we cherish, you know?
I think what we cherish is the – you know, is the fact that we work together and we have this American dream. And right now, the top one-tenth
of 1 percent of the population’s net worth is about equal to the bottom 90 percent combined. So that’s a measure of quite an extreme difference in
And if you go back in time, the last time that happened was the late 1930s. So I think one of the lessons is that if you have that kind of situation
and you have a downturn, you have a problem and it’s, you know, it’s the sort of problem –
ISAACSON: So you think we should look for ways to reengineer capitalism to make it more inclusive?
DALIO: Yes, and to make it — to bring about more of an equal opportunity that people feel that the system is fair and that makes it more productive.
ISAACSON: Other than investing in education, which you’ve talked about, what can you do to make capitalism more inclusive? What would you engineer?
DALIO: I’m involved, philanthropically, at looking at a number of things, and I do return on investment sort of calculations. And so, I find some
things I support are things that support that, like microfinance. For every donation that I make to Green America, that’s particularly – but I donate
it to other microfinance.
For every dollar that I donate to that, they lend $12 over the next 10 years. That money goes around. They have a 90 – almost a 99 percent, 98-
point-something, repayment rate. So, that money comes in, and it gives an opportunity. It’s creating little entrepreneurs. You know, somebody
borrowed $1,500. They buy a rug cleaning piece of equipment, and they’re in the rug cleaning business.
So, I find microfinance something that is something I like to support. I like to support the development of trade schools as they relate to jobs.
There’s one situation where I found where there’s a company that works with community colleges and employers to make loans to students that are
guaranteed that educates them a way that produces jobs.
ISAACSON: But how do you change the system so that philanthropy like that it’s necessary, that it’s built into the system of democratic capitalism?
DALIO: I think you need government dollars, and I think the best thing to do would be private-public partnerships., in which there’s a matching, you
know, maybe philanthropic dollars or corporate dollars, with government dollars on those that are high return on investment, because it serves the
purpose of being able to both vet the projects that you’re supporting and also being able to provide more money.
But I think the government has got to make assessments on return on investment, and I think if people get the notion and the government gets
the notion that that’s a good investment and they pay attention to that, rather than it’s a budget – it’s not a balanced budget, that would help a
ISAACSON: Do you think –
DALIO: The key is not to make them unproductive. In other words, a lot of government programs can be unproductive, and then that’s costly.
ISAACSON: Do you think corporate leaders should care a little bit more about the whole notion of inclusive capitalism, rather than be as focused
as they are on return on investment?
DALIO: I think it’s a shareholder question, not a management question. What I mean is the management reports to the shareholders.
ISAACSON: But you’re one of the biggest shareholders there are. Would you, as a shareholder, push your management to care about more than just pure
return on investment?
DALIO: I think – I think there’s two questions. I think the two questions are, what my role is as an individual in my job as a fiduciary, I have a
responsibility to do what my investors want me to do. And my investors are pension funds, endowments, foundations.
And they give me a goal to make investments along those lines and not favor a company that might devote more of its money to, let’s say, sales force,
for example. It takes 1 percent of its profits and it gives it away.
I do think that companies that do that are doing a good service, and I think it’s a good thing. I also think it’s very important for individuals,
in each one of their jobs, to understand who’s responsible for making that decision. And that decision is made by shareholders.
ISAACSON: But a lot of people, Lawrence Fink and others, who run big funds are saying, we got to push the public interest a little bit more and even
bring our investors around to that. You’re seeing a crisis in capitalism. You’ve been very worried about the crisis in capitalism. Don’t you think
that you, with your Bridgewater platform, have a way to help push this?
DALIO: I’m very fortunate to be able to have these kinds of conversations with people of influence along those lines, and I do. I think – I just want
to make clear that it’s their decisions. And if you’re going to do it, I think you can make them operate in a way which is better for the society
and do it. But I think – I think it’s a complicated question.
Who do you give the money to? Do you take it from shareholders and how do you? I think we as a society need to do more of that. Corporations need to
do that. But – so I’m in favor of ways of doing that, but I’m just wanting to make clear. Icould have the conversations, but it’s not my
I think that the responsibility becomes either the populace is who you elect and what decisions they make and to do it in a way that’s
economically productive, in achieving both the improvement in the issue of the wealth and opportunity gap and making productivity greater.
ISAACSON: Ray Dalio, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
DALIO: Thank you, Walter.
ISAACSON: Thank you.
DALIO: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Let’s now drill down on capitalism with a social conscious or indeed a bleeding heart. Since the tragedy that altered the Paris skyline,
the fire of Notre Dame, 11 days ago, donations have surpassed the estimated cost of repairs.
Nearly a billion have been pledged by France’s mega-rich. So the biggest question now, emerging from the ashes, how will Paris restore the cathedral
to its former glory? The answer could lie with late art historian Andrew Talon.
He dedicated his life to medieval architecture, and he fused that interest in technology to create one of the most detailed 3D models of Notre Dame,
capturing every nook and cranny with laser tech. John Ochsendorf was Tallon’s colleague. He’s a professor of architecture at MIT, and he’s also
director of the American Academy in Rome. And he told me how long and hard he thinks this restoration project will be.
Professor Oshsendorf, welcome to the program.
JOHN OCHSENDORF, PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE, MIT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: You know, I can’t help but notice there you are in Rome, The Eternal City, with so much unbelievably ancient architecture and sculpture.
And we’re talking about, you know, a medieval, gothic landmark in France. How important, in the global scheme of things, is something like Notre
Dame? So important that it created such an outpouring of grief?
OCHSENDORF: Well, it’s true that being here in Rome, we take a very long view on architecture, but the cathedral of Notre Dame stacks up as one of
the most important monuments in the world. And certainly, what has been lost, in terms of the roof structure, is a great loss of cultural heritage.
So no matter which view you take it from, anywhere in the world, it’s a great loss and it’s a tremendous work of architectural heritage.
AMANPOUR: So you are a professor of architecture, and you presumably, you know, get the bits of reconstruction and rehabilitation that we perhaps
don’t. What is the difficulty of trying to reconstruct – trying to repair something of that – of that ancient age?
OCHSENDORF: Well, the first thing we can say is that it’s simply not possible. I mean, what was lost with the roof, particularly the medieval
roof, if you think it’s 800 years old, it was built of more than a thousand ancient oak trees that themselves had cured for decades, or even centuries,
before being used. And then the medieval craftsmanship, all of that is lost forever.
However, we can try to replace some of that using the same techniques, the same wood, the same craftsmanship. And it will be a challenge, but it is
possible. But it will never be a complete replacement for what we have lost. The challenge now is just what to do moving forward and how accurate
could the reconstruction be.
AMANPOUR: So let me just challenge you there then because, you know, say how accurate. But you know, Paris is full of – well, at least there’s one
major example of an inaccurate, if you like, construction, and that is the glass pyramid inside the courtyard of the Louvre, the ancient palace of the
And that caused a huge amount of consternation when I.M. Pei first designed it and when it was first built. And then, of course, you’ve got the
Reichstag, with its glass, beautiful glass top, that’s there’s a very, you know, late addition to that building.
Do you think that Notre Dame – and there’s a competition out for designs – should be faithfully replicated, the roof? Or can it afford to be something
beautiful and brazen and new and that will test — stand the test of the ages to come?
OCHSENDORF: Well, this is exactly the question. Do we recreate or do we reimagine something new? And you know, when the Eiffel Tower was completed,
it was also shocking in Paris. I think in the case of Notre Dame, the spire which has been lost, which dated from just before the Eiffel Tower – it’s
from the late 1850s – it itself was a new imagining of a much earlier spire that it replaced.
So monuments evolve, they move forward, cultures move forward. This is only a personal opinion, but I would like to see the spire recreated, reimagined
in some new form, whereas I think the medieval roof that is the timbers that are hidden from view, that are now lost forever, I think it would be
appropriate to try to recreate what was lost in the medieval timber roof, whereas the 19th century spire, perhaps, could be reimagined as a 21st
century spire, but something that is respectful of the cathedral and its long history.
AMANPOUR: Professor Ochsendorf, you had a colleague, Andrew Tallon, who also was a professor, an expert in architecture, and he had been with
another colleague to image, if you like, Notre Dame. He had a lifelong interest in Notre Dame. Sadly, he died. He had brain cancer.
But before he died, he seems to have given the world and particularly this task now, this challenge, an unbelievable diagrammatic sort of template to
go forth. We’re showing some of the pictures. Tell us how he imaged this. What was this – the way he did it? How long did it take?
OCHSENDORF: Well, Andrew Tallon was a very special historian of architecture who not only wanted to understand French gothic architecture
and how it was built and the mastery behind its art but also understand its geometry and all its complexity. And so he used three dimensional laser
scans by reflecting individual lasers in three dimensions, all around from a tripod.
It’s possible to recreate a three dimensional geometry to within an accuracy of a few millimeters. He worked for years to get to the point
where he could scan the cathedral of Notre Dame, and he went around to about 50 different locations in order to capture the complex three
dimensional geometry, including underneath the roof with a laser scan. And, you know, he was a visionary scholar. His work and his vision will
And if there’s a desire to recreate an accurate representation of that medieval roof that was lost, then Andrew Tallon’s work will be very
important to try to do that.
AMANPOUR: And did that work also highlight the – what we now know to be incredible state of disrepair Notre Dame was in and has been in, even
before the fire?
OCHSENDORF: Yes, as scholars sometimes we can’t help but become involved with the subjects we are studying. And in Andrew’s case, he was absolutely
smitten with French gothic architecture, and he became so concerned about the state of the cathedral of Notre Dame that he began to call attention to
the problems with the fabric of the cathedral, the masonry and all of the materials that were decaying after centuries, in order to help build
He would have been absolutely heartbroken to see the scenes that we all witnessed, but in some ways, it’s fitting that his work could make it
possible to repair and rebuild what we have lost.
AMANPOUR: From your perspective, how dire was the repair job, even before the fire? And how complex will it be now?
OCHSENDORF: Well, there was certainly work to be done at Notre Dame, as there are at all great historical buildings, in part because it’s a
constant job to maintain a gothic cathedral. And I can add some perspective that the life of a gothic pinnacle in stone, or a gargoyle, they are not
permanent. The stone decays over the course of a few centuries.
So some elements are constantly being replaced in a cathedral. And it’s true that what was a difficult situation at Notre Dame was deferred
maintenance and repairs that needed to be done, has now become much more difficult as a result of the fire. And the most immediate concern is even
protecting it from the elements, from the rain, closing in the roof again, repairing the broken vaults. These are very important projects in the
months to come.
AMANPOUR: So, I want you to weigh in for me on what seems to be a bizarre backlash to French private individuals and companies who are pledging
hundreds of millions of euros, I mean up to a billion or more, to pay for this repair, at no cost to the taxpayer, they say. They’re not taking the
What do you think is appropriate in terms of private philanthropy? And why – I mean, do you understand this backlash to the big companies, the fashion
brands that have said they will help rebuild it to a large extent?
OCHSENDORF: Well, I think it’s really a common concern about resources and where do we invest resources of our civilization in any culture. And
perhaps there’s always been a tension between providing for people generally and creating new works of art, and providing patronage for
And so here those old tensions are playing out again. I personally, not having lived a great deal of time in France, I cannot fully explain it, but
the reality is that it’s a common tension, and we, as a culture, have to decide what are our priorities.
AMANPOUR: And just quickly, because you are an architect and you do know these things, President Macron has called for it to rebuilt, within five
years, in time for the Olympics that are going to be in France. Is that realistic?
OCHSENDORF: It depends on which direction the project takes. Certainly, something could be done quickly to complete it within five years. That
would be a very, very rushed project. I think to do it properly will be closer to 10 years, or even 20 years, which, in the 800-plus year life of
the cathedral, is relatively short.
But I think it’s possible to do a ritual rebuilding with stages along the way, and perhaps an important milestone could be reached at five years. But
certainly, it’s ambitious to think that it could be entirely restored within five years. I’m sorry to say the timeline, to me, looks much closer
AMANPOUR: All right, well, good to have that professional perspective. Professor Ochsendorf, thank you so much for joining us from Rome.
OCHSENDORF: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: And it certainly will be exciting to see what drives this. Will this gothic jewel get a contemporary new top, for example?
That’s it for our program tonight.
Thanks for watching Amanpour and Company on PBS and join us again tomorrow.