European Central Bank Bloomberg/Getty Images

Die Illusion von der Unabhängigkeit der EZB

ATHEN – Das Bekenntnis zur Unabhängigkeit der Notenbanken ist ein unverzichtbarer Bestandteil jenes Credos, das hochzuhalten von „ernstzunehmenden“ politischen Entscheidungsträgern erwartet wird (Privatisierung, „Flexibilität“ des Arbeitsmarktes usw.). Doch wem gegenüber sollen die Notenbanken eigentlich unabhängig sein? Die Antwort scheint offensichtlich: den Regierungen.

In diesem Sinne ist die Europäische Zentralbank die sprichwörtliche unabhängige Notenbank: Es steht keine einzelne Regierung hinter ihr, und es ist ihr ausdrücklich verboten, sich hinter eine der nationalen Regierungen zu stellen, deren Notenbank sie ist. Und doch ist die EZB die am wenigsten unabhängige Notenbank der entwickelten Welt.

Die zentrale Schwierigkeit ist das „Rettungsverbot“, dem die EZB unterliegt – das Verbot also, die Regierung eines insolventen Mitgliedsstaates zu unterstützen. Da die Geschäftsbanken eine unverzichtbare Finanzierungsquelle für die Mitgliedsregierungen sind, darf die EZB Banken mit Sitz in insolventen Mitgliedsstaaten nicht mit Liquidität versorgen. Die EZB gründet also auf Regeln, die verhindern, dass sie als Kreditgeber letzter Instanz dient.

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