Fairy wings train tracks slump ChrisHaysPhotography/Flickr

Die Geschichte mit der Confidence Fairy

LONDON – Im Jahr 2011 beschrieb der mit dem Nobelpreis ausgezeichnete Ökonom Paul Krugman den konservativen Diskurs über Haushaltsdefizite über die Begriffe Bond Vigilantes und Confidence Fairy. Danach würden, sofern die Regierungen nicht ihre Haushaltsdefizite abbauten, die Bond Vigilantes ihnen Daumenschrauben anlegen, indem sie die Zinsen in die Höhe trieben. Wenn die Regierungen ihre Defizite jedoch zurückführten, würde die Confidence Fairy sie durch Ankurbelung des privaten Konsums belohnen – wobei dieser Mehrkonsum den durch die Haushaltseinsparungen verursachten Minderkonsum mehr als ausgleichen würde.

Krugman war der Ansicht, dass die Behauptung über die Bond Vigilantes in Bezug auf einige Länder, wie etwa Griechenland, berechtigt sein könnte. Die Vorstellung von der Confidence Fairy jedoch sei nicht weniger irreal als die von der Zahnfee. Ein Defizit während eines Abschwungs abzubauen, könne nie einen Aufschwung verursachen. Politische Rhetorik könne verhindern, dass eine gute Politik verfolgt würde, doch ihren Erfolg könne sie nicht verhindern. Vor allem aber könne sie nicht bewirken, dass eine schlechte Politik funktioniert.

Ich habe diesen Punkt kürzlich mit Krugman bei einer Veranstaltung des New York Review of Booksdiskutiert. Dabei argumentierte ich, dass negative Erwartungen auch die Ergebnisse einer Politik beeinflussen könnten und nicht nur die Chancen ihrer Umsetzung. Wenn die Leute zum Beispiel dächten, dass die staatliche Kreditaufnahme lediglich eine in die Zukunft verschobene Steuer darstelle, würden sie möglicherweise mehr sparen, um ihre erwarteten späteren Steuern bezahlen zu können.

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