Ist Bernanke vorbereitet?

Ben Bernanke, der diesen Monat Alan Greenspan als Chairman des US Federal Reserve Board nachfolgen soll, ist ein äußerst fähiger Ökonom, der sein berufliches Leben der Aufgabe gewidmet hat, zu einem besseren Verständnis der historischen Rolle der Zentralbanken und der von ihnen in der Vergangenheit zu bewältigenden Probleme beizutragen. Seine Ansichten stellen, soweit man dies erwarten kann, einen Konsens unter jenen dar, die sich mit den Problemen sorgfältig auseinander gesetzt haben.

Allerdings ist damit nicht gesagt, dass Bernanke darauf vorbereitet ist, ein weiteres gesundes Wachstum der US-Konjunktur in den kommenden Jahren zu gewährleisten und jene Art von Führung an den Tag zu legen, die die Welt braucht. Nach den Kriterien, die heute allgemein zugrunde gelegt werden, wird er seine Arbeit gut machen. Unglücklicherweise jedoch ist dies vielleicht nicht genug.

John Maynard Keynes sagte einst, dass die Geldpolitik einer Schnur gleiche: Eine Zentralbank könne an dieser Schnur ziehen (die Zinsen erhöhen), um ein langfristig nicht aufrecht zu erhaltendes Wachstum zu bremsen. Aber die Konjunktur mit dieser Schnur anschieben könne sie nicht. Falls die Konjunktur einbricht, etwa weil das Vertrauen ernsthaft leidet, reichen zur Stimulierung der Nachfrage Zinssenkungen allein vielleicht nicht aus. In diesem Fall kann es – trotz aller Bemühungen der Zentralbank – zu einer Rezession kommen.

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