Konservativer Interventionismus

BERKELEY – In dieser Phase des weltweiten Kampfes gegen die Depression ist es sinnvoll, innezuhalten und darüber nachzudenken, wie konservativ die Maßnahmen eigentlich sind, die von den Zentralbanken, Finanzministerien und staatlichen Haushaltsabteilungen der Welt eingeführt wurden. Nahezu alles, was sie unternommen haben – Ausgabenerhöhungen, Steuersenkungen, Bankensanierungen, Kauf von riskanten Anlagen, Offenmarktpolitik und andere Geldmengenexpansionen –, folgt einer Vorgehensweise, die fast 200 Jahre alt ist und aus den frühsten Tagen der Industriellen Revolution stammt und somit aus den ersten Regungen des Konjunkturzyklus.

Angefangen hat alles 1825, als panische Investoren ihr Geld lieber als sicheres Bargeld anlegen wollten, anstatt es in riskante Unternehmen zu investieren. Robert Banks Jenkinson, der Zweite Earl von Liverpool und Erste Lord des Schatzamtes für King George IV., bat Cornelius Buller, den Gouverneur der Bank of England, tätig zu werden, um zu verhindern, dass die Preise für Finanzanlagen zusammenbrechen. „Wir glauben an eine Marktwirtschaft“, lautete Lord Liverpools Argumentation, „aber nicht, wenn die Preise, die eine Marktwirtschaft erzeugt, zu Massenarbeitslosigkeit auf den Straßen von London, Bristol, Liverpool und Manchester führen.“

Die Bank of England handelte: Sie intervenierte auf dem Markt und kaufte Anleihen gegen liquide Mittel, wodurch sie die Preise für Finanzanlagen pushte und die Geldmenge vergrößerte. Gegen geringe Sicherheiten vergab sie Kredite an wackelige Banken. Sie kündigte ihre Absicht an, den Markt zu stabilisieren – und dass auf Baisse spekulierende Anleger sich hüten sollten.

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