Lasst die Fremden bluten

PRINCETON – Der Welt droht momentan eine Wiederholung der finanziellen Kernschmelze von 2008 – aber in einem viel katastrophaleren Ausmaß. Diesmal liegt das Epizentrum nicht in den USA, sondern in Europa. Und diesmal geht es nicht um hochkomplexe strukturierte Finanzprodukte, sondern um eins der ältesten finanziellen Instrumente der Welt: Staatsanleihen.

Während sich Regierungen und Notenbanken auf der Suche nach einer Lösung überschlagen, ist eine grundlegende psychologische Dynamik am Werk, die einem geordneten Umgang mit den Schulden im Wege steht: unsere Abneigung, Verpflichtungen gegenüber Fremden anzuerkennen.

Der Impuls, den gordischen Knoten der Schulden einfach durch eine Insolvenz zu durchschlagen, ist viel stärker, wenn die Gläubiger weit entfernt und unbekannt sind. 2007-2008 waren es Hauseigentümer, die mit ihren Zahlungen nicht nachkamen, und heute sind es Regierungen. Aber in beiden Fällen waren die Gläubiger weit weg und anonym. Amerikanische Hypotheken waren nicht mehr im Besitz der örtlichen Banken, sondern wurden in esoterische Finanzinstrumente verpackt und weltweit verkauft. Ebenso sind die griechischen Staatsschulden heute größtenteils in ausländischer Hand.

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