Bernie Madoff Bryan Smith/ZumaPress

Betrug, Narren und Finanzmärkte

NEW HAVEN – Von Adam Smith stammt die berühmte Formulierung von der „unsichtbaren Hand“, dank derer das Bemühen um Befriedigung des Eigeninteresses in freien, wettbewerbsorientierten Märkten dem Gemeinwohl diene. Und Smith hatte Recht: Freie Märkte haben Einzelpersonen und Gesellschaften gleichermaßen einen nie dagewesenen Wohlstand verschafft. Aber weil Menschen sich manipulieren, täuschen oder einfach nur passiv in Versuchung führen lassen, verleiten uns die freien Märkte zugleich, Dinge zu kaufen, die weder für uns selbst noch für die Gesellschaft gut sind.

Diese Beobachtung stellt eine wichtige Ergänzung von Smiths Vision dar, der George Akerlof und ich in unserem neuen Buch, Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, nachgehen.

Die meisten von uns waren schon das Ziel von „Phishing“: unerwünschten E-Mails und Telefonanrufen mit dem Ziel, uns zu betrügen. Ein „Phool“ (eine Zusammensetzung von „fool“ (engl. Narr) und „Phishing“) ist jeder, der sich der Allgegenwärtigkeit von Phishing nicht vollständig bewusst ist. Er erkennt einzelne Beispiele von Phishing, aber nicht das Ausmaß der diesem gewidmeten Professionalität oder den Grad, in dem diese Professionalität das Leben der Menschen beeinflusst. Leider sind und waren viele von uns – darunter auch Akerlof und ich – derartige „Phools“, was der Grund ist, warum wir dieses Buch geschrieben haben.

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