Befinden sich die USA in einer zwei Stufen Rezession?

Noch im letzten Winter war Amerikas Zentralbank - die Federal Reserve Bank (FED)- eifrig damit beschäftigt, sich auf die Schulter zu klopfen. Die Senkung des Leitzinssatzes der Bundesbank auf 1.75 % pro Jahr schien Erfolg zu zeigen, die Rezession an ihr Ende zu kommen. Trotz nüchternerer Erwartungen über die Auswirkung der High-Tech-Revolution auf Produktivität und Profite und trotz der durch den Terrorangriff auf das Welthandels-Zentrum entfachten Angst glaubte man, amerikanische Unternehmen würden bald wieder in großem Stil investieren, weil sich Geld zu 1.75 % Zinsen auszuleihen, ein zu gutes Geschäft war, um es sich entgehen zu lassen.

Doch gegen Ende des Frühjahrs hatten sich nach dem Zusammenbruch der Firmen Enron, WorldCom, und Arthur Andersen diese Erwartungen verflüchtigt. Plötzlich zweifelte jeder die Richtigkeit der Finanzberichte amerikanischer Gesellschaften an. Plötzlich bemerkte jeder, wie sehr sich Amerikas System der Firmenaufsicht und Kontrolle während der Finanzblasen-Ökonomie der 1990er Jahre verschlechtert hatte.

Die amerikanische Börse fiel um 15-20 % hinter den Stand vom Winter zurück. Die Schere zwischen dem Zinssatz, zu dem die amerikanische Regierung Geld aufnehmen, und demjenigen, zu dem Amerikas Firmen Geld leihen konnten, öffnete sich weiter. Und plötzlich hörte die FED auf, sich zu gratulieren: Ein Zinssatz von 1.75 % mag wohl der richtige Zinssatz zur Ankurbelung des Aufschwungs sein, wenn der Dow Jones Aktien Index bei 10,000 steht, aber nicht, wenn er bei 8,500 angelangt ist.

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