Europas finanzielle Verwundbarkeit

WIEN – Die bemerkenswertesten Innovationen der letzten beiden Jahrzehnte haben im Finanzwesen stattgefunden. Wie bei der technologischen Innovation geht es bei Finanzinnovationen um die ständige Suche nach mehr Effizienz – in diesem Fall um eine Reduzierung der Kosten für den Transfer von Geldmitteln von den Sparern an die Investoren. Kosteneinsparungen, die für die Gesellschaft einen Reingewinn darstellen, sind begrüßenswert. Doch wie die aktuelle Finanzkrise zeigt, müssen wir dort, wo Finanzinnovationen dazu entwickelt werden, Aufsicht und Besteuerung zu umgehen, vorsichtiger sein.

Bedauerlicherweise war die Finanzrevolution zumeist eher von Profitgier geprägt als von dem Ziel, das allgemeine Wohlergehen zu fördern. Sie beruhte darauf, zwei entscheidende Bestandteile der Bankenkosten, die eng mit Aufsichtsvorschriften verbunden sind, zu beseitigen oder zumindest zu reduzieren.

Einer ist die Pflicht von Banken und anderen Finanzinstituten, flüssige Reserven bereitzuhalten. Je weniger liquide die Aktiva einer Bank sind, desto mehr braucht sie solche Reserven. Doch ist der Ertrag für derartige Reserven gering, also lohnt es sich, bei ihnen zu sparen. Das Debakel der britischen Northern Rock im letzten Jahr wird lange ein Beispiel dafür bleiben, wie man solche Risiken nicht handhaben sollte.

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