Lehman Bros Michael Nagle/Stringer

Die geschwächten Abwehrkräfte des globalen Finanzsystems

ZÜRICH – Auf den Monat genau vor 85 Jahren brach in Österreich die Credit-Anstalt, damals die deutlich größte Bank des Landes, zusammen. Bis Juli jenes Jahres erlebten dann Banken in Ägypten, Deutschland, Lettland, Polen, Rumänien, der Türkei und Ungarn Bankenstürme. Im August traf eine Bankenpanik, deren Ursachen freilich möglicherweise im Inland zu suchen waren, die USA. Im September erlebten die Banken in Großbritannien große Abhebungen. Die Parallelen zum Zusammenbruch der US-Investmentbank Lehman Brothers 2008 sind stark – und entscheidend, wenn man sie aktuellen Finanzrisiken verstehen will.

Weder der Zusammenbruch der Credit-Anstalt noch der von Lehman Brothers verursachten all die globalen Finanzturbulenzen, die sich daran anschlossen. Diese Zusammenbrüche und die darauf folgenden Schwierigkeiten waren Symptome derselben Krankheit: eines schwachen Bankensystems.

Im Österreich des Jahres 1931 wurzelte das Problem im Auseinanderbrechen des Österreichisch- Ungarischen Kaiserreiches nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg, der Hyperinflation der frühen 1920er Jahre und den enormen Engagements der Banken im Industriesektor. Als die Credit-Anstalt zusammenbrach, steckte die Welt bereits seit zwei Jahren in einer tiefen Rezession, die Bankensysteme in einer Anzahl von Ländern waren geschwächt, und die bestehenden Spannungen wurden in einfacher Weise über die nationalen Grenzen übertragen. Der Goldstandard verstärkte die finanzielle Anfälligkeit, indem er die Notenbanken in ihrer Handlungsfähigkeit beschränkte.

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