Banken essen Wirtschaft auf

LONDON – Der Gouverneur der Bank of England, Mark Carney, überraschte sein Publikum auf einer Konferenz Ende letzten Jahres mit  Spekulationen, wonach die Aktiva der Banken in London bis 2050 auf das Neunfache des britischen BIPs anwachsen könnten.  Seine Prognose stellte eine einfache Extrapolation zweier Trends dar: die weltweit anhaltende Vertiefung des Finanzsektors (also schnelleres Wachstum der Finanzanlagen als der Realwirtschaft) und die Erhaltung des Londoner Anteils am globalen Finanzgeschäft.

Dabei handelt es sich vielleicht um vernünftige Annahmen, dennoch war die Einschätzung für viele zutiefst beunruhigend. Ein riesiges einheimisches Finanzzentrum und überdimensionale nationale Banken können den Steuerzahlern teuer zu stehen kommen. In Island und Irland entwuchsen die Banken den Möglichkeiten der Regierungen, sie im Notfall zu unterstützen. Das Ergebnis war desaströs.   

Ganz abgesehen von den möglichen Kosten einer Rettung argumentieren manche, dass die Hypertrophie des Finanzwesens der Realwirtschaft schadet, weil dadurch qualifizierte Arbeitskräfte und Ressourcen abgezogen werden, die man anderswo besser einsetzen könnte. Doch Carney argumentiert, dass der Rest der britischen Ökonomie sehr wohl davon profitiert, in seiner Mitte über ein globales Finanzzentrum zu verfügen.  „Die Position im Mittelpunkt des globalen Finanzsystems“, so Carney, „erweitert die Investitionschancen für Institutionen, die sich um die britischen Ersparnisse kümmern und stärkt die Möglichkeiten der britischen Fertigungs- und Kreativwirtschaft im globalen Wettbewerb“.

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