Segments in this Video

"Mystery of Capital" (02:11)


Hernando de Soto's book shows how an absence of property rights leads to poverty in developing countries, and explores why capitalism only succeeds in the West.

Developing Country Poverty (01:27)

De Soto explains his theory that property rights create wealth.

Rights of Possession (02:26)

De Soto explains how Peru's civil war led him to develop his property rights theory and bring landless peasants into the formal economy.

Democratizing Land Ownership (01:14)

De Soto explains how property reformed feudal oligarchies; the concept has a revolutionary connotation in Latin America.

Living Outside the Law (01:59)

De Soto discusses de facto land ownership in developing countries. Residents risk dispossession, and can't take loans to invest in businesses.

Informal Economy (01:12)

Legitimizing property for business investment is a long process in developing countries. De Soto estimates four billion people operate without paperwork.

Empowering the Poor (01:06)

De Soto is encouraged by governments in developing countries granting property rights.

North American Shadow Economy (01:53)

De Soto discusses how unrecorded assets led to the Wall Street credit crunch, and how property rights have evolved.

Addressing the Economic Crisis (03:00)

De Soto explains how untraceable toxic assets are causing market mistrust and creating the credit crunch.

Uncovering Toxic Assets (01:56)

De Soto advocates nationalizing banks to avoid market panic, and explains why legalized property rights are crucial for development.

Credits: The Mystery of Capital (00:14)

Credits: The Mystery of Capital

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The Mystery of Capital

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In this documentary, CBC News' Brian Stewart meets Hernando de Soto, an economist from Peru who became famous interpreting the destructiveness of shadow economies in the developing world. In his book, The Mystery of Capital, de Soto explains how an absence of property rights leads to poverty in developing countries. People who can't show ownership in anything are condemned to live in illegal shadow economies. The largest shadow economy of all was here in the West, in Wall Street and the banking system—in hundreds of trillions of dollars of unregulated financial transactions, which might yet cause massive banking collapse in the world. (19 minutes)

Length: 19 minutes

Item#: BVL58479

ISBN: 978-0-81608-584-2

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.