What about politics, though? It was not that I did not care about politics anymore. I was still a card-carrying member of the Liberals, even though I had pulled out of active politics. My close ties with the party remained intact, and when Herrmann-Otto Solms of the FDP asked me in 2006 whether I felt like hosting a convention on the subject of REITs, I was happy to oblige him. I had made an intense effort to promote the introduction of these tax-privileged real state PLCs which I was familiar with from the US market, and which had no equivalent in Germany yet. BERLINER IMMOBILIENRUNDE hosted several major REIT conventions. Sad to say, the Social Democrats managed to stall the draft bill until the right moment for the introduction of REITs had passed. Worse yet, the law that was eventually passed had serious shortcomings – for instance, it included a ban on adding existing housing stock to a REIT portfolio, as is common practice everywhere else in the world. And – again in contradistinction to widespread practice – it mandated an IPO. It is yet another example of how a great idea can be undone by ideologically motivated politicians.

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