Harun Farocki

Not without risk
Video, 2004, 50 min

Harun Farocki refers in his documentaries to phenomena of every day life. Economical, political, historical and aesthetical reference-systems are constructed to explore the multiplicity of complex conditions by visualizing and analysing them within a social political context.

“What Venture Capital, or VC, is, will be explained in the film itself. Banks lend money only against security. Anyone who has no security has to apply to VC-societies, and pays 40% interest. At least. We made recordings in all kinds of companies, in VC-societies discussing projects, with businessmen trying to formulate an idea, with consultants rehearsing a presentation. Then we restricted ourselves to a single negotiation on only two days; they are negotiating the conditions on which 750,000 euros are to be lent.? (Harun Farocki)

At first glance, worlds seem to separate the 40% interest due in the absence of security to enable a “normal? credit, from the easy credits available in America which led to the collapse of the property market. In America, people speculated with bank credits; profits were made from a large number of the credits granted by selling them on to other banks. The risk for the borrowers was increased, since the repayment conditions had radically worsened. Credit sales had increased the interest rates and changed the repayment conditions to correspond to the VC finance guidelines, without the borrowers ever having been consulted.

The VC-societies secure their capital assignments through high interest rates and the 20–35% shareholding of the applying company, displacing the risk on the side of the applicant.

Profits from speculation and a speculative market work with speculative risk, regardless of economic stability and society. Consequences of these methods include stagnation of economic growth, high rates of inflation, poverty, job-losses and unemployment. Companies are bought and exploited, employees dismissed, and the companies sold on in a depleted state.