Banken, Staaten und Finanzkrisen

PRINCETON – Die jüngste Phase der Finanzkrise nach dem Zusammenbruch von Lehman Brothers im September 2008 ist von riesigen Verlusten der Banken und der anhaltenden Bedrohung durch Bankenzusammenbrüche geprägt. Das Ausmaß der Misere wirft die Frage auf, ob sich kleine Länder Bankenrettungen überhaupt leisten können.  

Die Definition von „klein“ variiert allerdings. Vor ein paar Monaten war noch Island damit gemeint, später Irland und mittlerweile Großbritannien. Aufgrund der Auswirkungen der Bankenkrise muss man nicht nur über die tauglichste Form einer Banken-Gesetzgebung nachdenken, sondern auch über die ausreichende Größe des Staates.

Über die beste Gestaltung eines Bankensystems herrschte immer Unsicherheit und es gab auch immer einen Wettbewerb zwischen den verschiedenen Methoden der Bankenregulierung. Auf der einen Seite herrscht die Vorstellung, dass sich Banken nahe an jenen Risiken zu bewegen hätten, die sie beurteilen müssen – eine Idee, die historisch über weite Strecken das Bankwesen in den USA definierte. Dieses Ideal hatte seinen Ursprung in Andrew Jacksons titanischem Kampf gegen Nicholas Biddle und die Second Bank of the United States. Der Populismus trat gegen die Finanziers an und setzte sich durch. Infolge dessen hatten die meisten US-Banken des 19. Jahrhunderts keine Filialen und ihre Geschäftstätigkeit blieb auf einen Bundesstaat beschränkt.

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