The Decline and Rejuvenation of the Money Empire in Two Hundred Years

Whether it is David Ricardo, Karl Marx, Hayek, Lewis, economists of any school, when analyzing the reasons for the survival and continued existence of capitalism, emphasize one process: production. The “reactionary” view says that production can create additional wealth from the void, while Marx reveals that production is the means by which surplus value is generated and the means of capitalist exploitation. However, it cannot be replicated and one-off production is only a one-way ticket to wealth, so the production they say that has not yet perished for capitalism must be sustainable and expanding reproduction, and at the same time production must be multi-dimensional The complex mechanism of divergence can create a ripple effect, and finally its marginalization can make a tsunami in Uruguay brewed by the wings of an ordinary butterfly in the British Empire. And the best uterus for such complex continuous production activities to be nurtured and maintained is the capital empire established by the money aristocrats. In fact, the capitalist world is built on the inheritance of generations of business families and financial families…

Previous: Decline

The reason why we start from the decline is that we do not need to investigate the history of frugality and prosperity of the aristocrats in the Industrial Revolution and even in the Middle Ages, which has long been revealed. Harry Potter must be better than Stephen King. From Rockefeller to Matsushita, from Goodman to JP Morgan, everyone is portrayed as a self-made model, the same, but is this really the case? Does anyone believe the Goldman Sachs empire is the result of the Goodmans riding their bikes from house to house to persuade people to buy their bonds? Indeed, not many people know that Mitsubishi bought a multi-million-dollar enterprise from Emperor Meiji for 100,000 yen (silver dollars). Similarly, in the early days of capitalism, the state capital was rapidly diluted and privatized. “Event” is the root cause of most companies’ prosperity. Contrary to the well-known state redemption of private enterprises, the emerging countries at that time almost used state power to build enterprises, and then transferred such state-owned enterprises to private capital at a price of less than 10% of their market value. As for the object of this “reverse redemption” Why choose Mitsubishi instead of Siling, maybe it is the reason why the former is diligent and thrifty? Then, it is not surprising that the published histories of the capital aristocracy are regarded as inspirational books.

Second, and more importantly, the traditional capital aristocracy has largely surrendered their empires today, just as they took over from their own countries. easy come easy go? In 2015, the Rothschild family that had been dormant for nearly a century finally had a reason to make headlines: the new generation of Luo family heir James Rothschild married another unfortunate sunset, the second princess of the Hilton family, Nikki, The bad thing is that this marriage was not only arranged in the lace news section, but the main reason for the headlines in this section was the contribution of the paparazzi who exposed Nikki’s second marriage. Similarly, what people talk about today is not the old aristocrats such as DuPont, Mellon, and Krupp, but the “new emperors” such as Walton and Buffett. Is the decline of traditional capital empires a superficial phenomenon or a reality under the global system What about low tide? Take the Rothschild family as an example. Although they still stubbornly occupy private houses, they have been reluctant to put the capital of Paris Orléans (the holding company of the Luo family) into the secondary market, but the total assets of only 8 billion US dollars are also certain. The glory of the past cannot be reproduced, which seems to be evidence of the low tide; however, folk legends say that the Luo family actually controls at least 50 trillion US dollars of assets through shadow companies and mysterious traders. Lafite wine is his family, and Suez Canal is also his. The family lent money to England to buy it, and the De Beers Diamond Group is also theirs, and Dan Brown’s two best-selling books pointed out that the Luo family still controls the world, no matter what, these just confirm that Rothschild is already a legend , and is long outdated.

If the banking institutions founded by Rothschild in 1804 are old banks that have been eliminated by the times, whether they have defeated Napoleon or assisted the Hohenzollern Dynasty, these brilliance are in the modern banks established by Morgan, Mellon and others. In front of the system, it’s all about the future. It’s not worth mentioning. Even any Goldman Sachs trader can do what the entire Roche family could do 200 years ago. Roche inherited the traditional financial system, or the old isolated system based on the gold standard of the Bank of England. The East India Company, Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC, Standard Chartered, etc. can all be included in this system. In the process of transition to a modern financial system, strides are behind.

Just as the old banks handed over the baton to the new banks in the United States, in the first decade of the 20th century, the first generation of industrial aristocrats also successfully completed the handover. At this stage, almost all business families in the world can be stable. passed, and at the same time ushered in the peak moment of the family: John Rockefeller Jr. not only took over the Standard Oil Company, which owned 12 states from the old John, but also included 80% of the national oil company before 1930. 50% of the world’s gasoline production, the establishment of the Empire State Building at the turn of the century brought the Rockefeller family to the top of their careers; JP Morgan and Carnegie’s steel empires have occupied half of the world, and the former has begun to invest in Bank of America. Obviously, the first generation of The old Morgan had a great advantage in the competition with the second-generation Carnegie Jr., but he still passed on the idea that finance will replace steel to his heirs; John Ford, as a blue-collar boss, did not stress much about the family attributes, but his principles of technology openness and communication sharing still deeply influenced older generation auto giants such as Walz Durant’s General Motors, who asked his son to learn from Ford and inherited the Ford assembly line completely, improving Therefore, the second generation of GM has the Ford factor; the Guggenheim and the Goodman family all found partners at this time, and quickly adjusted the business direction, the latter under the leadership of the new chairman Sachs Not only has the name changed to Goldman Sachs, but it also took the lead in establishing a financial product model. Although it was only a single class of bonds, it provided the standard for derivative products that appeared later. On the European continent, Krupp has passed to the third generation and is still stubborn. refusing securitization; Coco Chanel’s ready-to-wear perfume empire completely changed the British tradition that clothes must be tailored, and also allowed chemical inventions to add luster to fashion. From then on, all luxury goods originated from technology and served the public, no longer belonged to the aristocracy. Banned. The era of capital and corporate aristocracy lasted for nearly 60 years and collapsed in the 1960s after World War II.

Today it seems that the decline of these families often has complex reasons and backgrounds, which are closely related to the birth of a new generation of aristocrats and are inextricably linked to each other. As an academic research, we ignore the rise and fall of each family. It is to investigate the environmental variables of its existence and the internal logic of evolution. Therefore, linking the previous and the next, the capital empire’s “Great Shifting of Heaven and Earth” began.

Next: Revival

The evolution of the postwar capital aristocracy exhibits the following characteristics:

1. The collapse and sublation of the old aristocracy

A prominent point is that not a few descendants began to rebel against their own values ​​and family glory. The most extreme example was the emergence of great philosophers like Ludwig in the Wittgenstein family of the Austro-Hungarian steel dynasty. As early as the early 20th century, the nobles He abandoned the traditional one-stop education for wealthy families. Ludwig went to an ordinary public school, and most of his classmates were children of commoners. The five brothers of the third generation of the Rockefellers almost gave up the idea of ​​trust, which was hated like a street rat, and even the brand of Mobil Oil was abandoned (later used for lubricating oil), and the Standard Oil Kingdom under John III quickly Disintegration, and finally, with the reorganization of New Jersey Standard Company into Exxon Company (the symbol is Esso), the Rockefeller Oil Kingdom is completely withdrawn from the stage of history. After its brief glory, it also fell apart. The grandson of the vice president actually abandoned the pesky Rockefeller surname and joined the Black Panther Party, becoming an authentic hippie. Only the fifth David silently clings to the last piece of the family’s territory – the Empire State Building, and carried it forward in the 1970s – the old oil imperialism passed down to the third generation and finally evolved into a financial empire: Fair Life and Chase Manhattan Bank Taken Rockefeller’s gun and replaced it with a cannon – soon, the two giant families in the United States merged – JPMorgan Chase became the top bank in the United States, surpassing Citi and the Americas, and the most stable performance in all financial crises and strong. After Carnegie Steel lost power, Carnegie Jr. turned to public welfare undertakings. Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Cancer Research Center, Guggenheim Museum of Art, etc. have become new gifts from the capital aristocracy to the American people, and also to inherit them A portrayal of the roots of the American spirit on which to get rich. Did they crash? No, they are integrated into the wealth of the world and all of humanity.

2. Mutation and alienation in inheritance

Although the family in the past did not have the rule of not passing on the old and not the young, the inheritance of the boss and the monopoly within the family were undoubtedly justifiable. Today, however, this kind of “inbreeding” has been completely changed. Almost all the money empires have been passed down to commoners and different surnames, and the management of Murdoch’s News Corporation, which abides by the family concept, is almost all the old Mo gang. Relatives who do not know much about entertainment are in control, but their decline is obvious to all. Families such as DuPont, Mellon, Rockefeller, Agnelli, etc. have all gained new life because they were passed on to “outsiders”. The tragedy of John DuPont may be an exception. After he handed over the family’s golden key, he wanted to develop in the direction of sports brokerage. It did produce a genius like Mark Schultz, but the tragedy of character ended up ruining his career and himself. The same many rich fourth and fifth generations who gave up their wealth have gone through a nightmarish period of maladaptation. Willfulness and debauchery are the reasons for their destruction. However, who can be sure that the absurd princess Paris who behaves strangely has left Hilton Does this surname do nothing? At least she is already a movie star, a socialite, and the owner of her own brand. The so-called faults in the descendants of the nobles actually make them look more like normal people, ordinary people. In any case, they voluntarily integrate into society and refuse to get nothing for nothing. The pie in the sky is respectable.

The inheritance of fashion brands seems to be quite different. Before the war, almost all brands were inherited within the family; after the war, it was the complete opposite, and no brand was inherited by the descendants of the original. For example, a traditional aristocratic brand like Dior is also managed by the new designer Yves Saint Laurent. Chanel, under the discipline of Coco’s emphasis on feminism, still passed it on to the male Lagerfeld, just because looking around the world can be perfect The only person who reproduces Chanel’s uncompromising black-and-white revolution is Karl Lagerfeld. The battle of Yuliang, which was once rumored in the fashion industry, was actually launched between two flat-headed boys, but the young and poor Tom Ford and Hillmani represented Gucci and the Dior Empire behind them. What is even more incredible is that Patek Philippe, a model of the Swiss family watch industry, was once handed over to the American jeweler Tiffany, while the century-old Plum Blossom, West Horse and Inge were simply sold to Hong Kong people. This phenomenon of preferring to be passed on to outsiders rather than one’s own is the protection and promotion of the family’s philosophy and spiritual integrity. When the new civilian “outsiders” can best maintain the inherent entrepreneurial spirit of the capital family, and When they can continue to expand and improve this spirit, without exception, they are all entrusted with important tasks by the family without reservation. This seemingly unrestrained and selfless transmission is also the best way to keep the family fire.

3. The rise of the new aristocracy and the spirit of de-aristocracy

Bill Gates created Microsoft, but no one calls Microsoft the Gates Empire, because Gates himself knows very well that it is not the family surnamed Gates who can inherit the spirit of Microsoft, or even the old self, so he not only very early He resigned from the positions of chairman and CEO of Microsoft, and even donated his wealth to the society instead of his family. Similarly, Apple, which lost Steve Jobs unexpectedly, has not stopped, and every minute is innovating and progressing in the high-tech field Almost before the birth of the nobles, they were forced to metabolize. Intel did, Sun did, Oracle and Google did too. None of Walton’s descendants worked at Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart had better managers. The sudden departure of the new aristocrats is not the fault of their corporate philosophy, but the opposite. In order to better pass on this philosophy, they sacrificed their own interests and opened up all their heritage. consensus.

In the past 20 years, Asia’s new aristocrats have also appeared on the Forbes and Fortune 500 lists. The Indian giant Lakshmi Mittal has almost completely inherited the legacy of the former Wittgenstein Empire and the Krupp Empire. The management has been completely inherited, and he let the original team of the Iron Empire manage it also proved the tolerance and generosity of the new nobles. An example of changing course is when Prince Alwaleed bin Talal completely revamped the original framework after acquiring the originally dead Four Seasons Hotel, turning Four Seasons Hotel into a luxury brand instead of being an ordinary hotel company. This hotel, conceived by the Isado Sharp family, has become the world’s most powerful integrated enterprise of catering and accommodation.

Modern Chinese enterprises have always wanted to build century-old stores. Geely acquired Volvo, and Lenovo acquired IBM’s notebook systems, all facing the choice of inheritance and transformation. The previous two successful examples are examples, but they are also traps to a certain extent. There are many successful examples. If we want to build a capital aristocracy, we can only choose the new aristocracy. It is impossible to “restore” the corporate empire concept. Whether it is Haier, Huawei, Evergrande or BYD, their entrepreneurial spirit has been established and gradually Maturity, maintaining this spirit and passing it on is more important than any old-fashioned family business concept. China’s century-old brands such as Wang Zhihe, Wang Mazi, Quanjude, etc. can’t survive the industrial revolution safely. The decline and low ebb are not because of their poor management, but because the world has entered the era of Industry 4.0 and the electronic revolution. No matter how old-fashioned empires are, they cannot withstand the process of being eliminated from the outdated industrial chain. Therefore, China’s future capital for a hundred years must be It is constantly updated, the new and new capital that bravely stands at the forefront of the tide, and masters the technology of the times that will never fall behind. Under this premise, it is meaningful to pass on one’s own inner spirit. As for the surname of the heir, whether it is Zhang or Li, Han or Zhuang, or even It doesn’t matter whether they are Chinese or foreigners. If the corporate culture and business philosophy remain unchanged, then Chinese capital and enterprises will never change.

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