Stephan Kaufmann

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Stephan Kaufmann, 2014

Stephan Kaufmann (* 1965 in Berlin ) is a German business journalist and non-fiction author . He works as a business editor for the Berliner Zeitung , the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger within the editorial community of the M. DuMont Schauberg media group.


Kaufmann grew up in West Berlin and studied economics in Berlin and Paris. He also worked for a financial company in Lagos / Nigeria. After finishing the Axel Springer journalism school , he worked for three years as the financial market editor of the daily newspaper Die Welt .

In 1998 he came to the Berliner Zeitung. He has been a member of the DuMont editorial community since 2010.


Will the whole world soon be broke? (with Ingo Stützle) 2013

The monograph shows what purpose national debt serves, when it becomes a problem - and for whom. Debt issues are always questions of distribution: "Some have to pay, others are allowed to earn. Because the debts of some are always the assets of the other - the creditors. And these assets are very unevenly distributed among the population." National debt is an instrument the government uses to achieve economic growth. With their indebtedness, "a government makes its people liable for the fact that this bill works out". If that doesn't work out, the poorer part of the population usually has to bear the burden, while entrepreneurs are relieved to promote investment. The "structural reforms" initiated by the EU left the states no longer a choice as to whether or not to submit to the austerity dictates and social cuts. "The wage earners ..., who bear around two thirds of the total tax revenue, do not only pay for the majority of the national debt. They should also exercise restraint and at the same time have had to accept the consequences of the cuts in state social benefits for years the question of debt is a question of distribution and, last but not least, a question of power. " In the national debt ... the governments and elites recognized an opportunity to implement their neoliberal program of deregulation, liberalization and lowering of unit labor costs. The high level of debt is used here as leverage.

“So the fear of national debt serves as a political lever. Instead of explaining its purpose and distributive effect, it is presented as a threat "to us all" that creates a kind of national emergency and requires extraordinary measures. Politicians then use this threat scenario to transform the states into a "paradise for creditors" (Mark Blyth) and investors. [1] "

Capitalism. The first 200 years (with Ingo Stützle) 2015

The authors summarize Thomas Piketty's " Capital in the 21st Century " and deal with his central theses. Piketty's success is explained by the fact that he criticizes the capitalist economic form in conformity with the system, as is particularly evident in the last third of the book. He does not ask: "What does capitalism do to the poor? Rather: What do the poor do to capitalism?" Labor and capital stand side by side without relationship and of equal value, although labor is ultimately also the basis of capital and serves life-sustaining consumption, while capital continues to accumulate as its own end. Piketty is also a neo-classic when it comes to growth. He ignores the fact that expectations of profitability control the application of technology in capitalism, not a technical progress that is viewed without preconditions. When it comes to unequal distribution, he only considers the instability of the system as a whole, not the question of the fairness of income and the irrationality of an inefficient return on assets of inherited wealth. Within a performance society that accuses the poor and the unemployed of their supposedly poor performance, the concentration of wealth should also be viewed as a problem of justice and legitimation, and not just a purely functional one. Piketty called for a wealth tax to stabilize the system, but knew that such a demand could not be enforced internationally.

“If you say that income is measured according to performance and performance is measured according to how hard someone tries, then the reverse is clear: If someone is not economically successful, then he was probably lazy or too stupid. The loser in the competition should then turn the criticism against himself instead of against the system. This is the transition to economic racism, and it is based on this assumed performance principle. "


Kaufmann is a member of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and author of the RLS series of publications. He was also a speaker at the Spring Academy 2012 of the party " Die Linke ".


  • Stephan Kaufmann / Antonella Muzzupappa: Crash course crisis. How the financial markets work. A critical introduction . Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-86505-756-3 .
  • Stephan Kaufmann / Ingo Stützle : Will the whole world soon be bankrupt? Popular Misconceptions About Debt , 92 Pages, 10 Graphics. 2012, reissued and revised in book form by Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2015 ISBN 978-3-86505-751-8 (as a brochure of the RLS: [2] ).
  • Stephan Kaufmann / Ingo Stützle: Capitalism. The first 200 years. Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century" - Introduction, Debate, Criticism . 112 pages, 13 illustrations, paperback, 10.5 × 14.8 cm. 4th, revised edition, Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-86505-730-3 .
  • Stephan Kaufmann: Investors as invaders. State funds and the new competition for power on the world market . Texts of RLS Vol. 51 by Stephan Kaufmann. Karl Dietz-Verlag, Berlin, 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02158-0
  • Stephan Kaufmann / Tadzio Müller: Green capitalism, crisis, climate change and no end to growth . Row twenty-one of the RLS, Vol. 2, 2009, ISBN 978-3-320-02211-2

Web links

Individual evidence