Millennium footbridge Ben Stansall/Getty Images

Wirtschaftskrisen und die Krisen der Wirtschaftswissenschaften

LONDON – Befindet sich die Profession der Ökonomen „in der Krise“? Viele politische Entscheidungsträger wie Andy Haldane, der Chefvolkswirt der Bank of England, vertreten diese Ansicht. Tatsächlich gelang es den Ökonomen vor einem Jahrzehnt nicht, den massiven herannahenden Sturm zu erkennen, bis dieser in der zerstörerischsten globalen Finanzkrise in beinahe 80 Jahren gipfelte. In jüngerer Vergangenheit schätzten die Ökonomen die unmittelbaren Auswirkungen des britischen Brexit-Votums auf die Wirtschaft des Landes falsch ein.

Freilich sind die Prognosen für die Zeit nach dem Brexit möglicherweise nicht ganz falsch, aber nur, wenn wir die langfristigen Auswirkungen der Brexit-Abstimmung betrachten. Manche Ökonomen erwarteten einen Zusammenbruch der britischen Wirtschaft während der Panikphase nach dem Referendum, doch die wirtschaftliche Aktivität erwies sich als durchaus belastbar, wobei das BIP-Wachstum 2016 einen Wert von rund 2,1 Prozent erreichte. Doch nun, da die britische Premierministerin Theresa May andeutete, einen „harten“ Brexit zu bevorzugen, liegt man mit einer düsteren langfristigen Prognose wahrscheinlich richtig.

Leider erstreckt sich die Verantwortung der Ökonomen für die globale Finanzkrise des Jahres 2008 und die anschließende Rezession über reine Prognosefehler hinaus. Viele Vertreter der Zunft lieferten das intellektuelle Unterfutter für die der Krise vorangegangenen Exzesse und die nach der Krise begangenen politischen Fehler - insbesondere für das Beharren auf Sparprogrammen und die Missachtung der sich ausweitenden Ungleichheit.

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