Wenn Banken mit „Zitronen“ handeln

München: Nach der Weltschuldenkrise von 1982, der Sparkassenkrise in den USA Ende der 1980er Jahre und der asiatischen Finanzkrise von 1997 ist die Subprime-Hypothekenkrise die vierte große Bankenkrise seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg – und bei weitem die schwerste. Laut IMF werden die Abschreibungen in den Bilanzen weltweit fast eine Billion Dollar betragen, wobei der Löwenanteil davon auf US-Finanzinstitute entfallen dürfte. Vorsichtigere Schätzungen gehen von einem Gesamtverlust von 400 Mrd. Dollar aus.  Angesichts der Tatsache, dass gesamte Eigenkapital aller US-Finanzinstitute nur rund 1,2 Billionen Dollar beträgt, sind beides atemberaubende Zahlen.

Warum kommt es zu Bankkrisen? Sind Bankmanager dumm? Warum übernehmen sie Risiken, die ihre Banken an den Rand des Ruins führen? Die Antwort liegt im Zusammenwirken eines schlechten Bilanzierungssystems mit verschiedenen Moral-Hazard-Effekten, die durch die bestehenden Aufsichtssysteme nicht eingedämmt werden können.

Das schlechte Bilanzierungssystem, das inzwischen von Großunternehmen weltweit verwendet wird, ist der International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). Das Manko des IFRS besteht darin, dass er die systematische Ansteckung infolge von Kursschwankungen nicht dämpft. Wenn es bei Wertpapieren zu Kursschwankungen kommt, müssen die Unternehmen, die diese Wertpapiere besitzen, in ihren Büchern Quartal für Quartal Wertberichtigungen vornehmen. Die ständige Berichtspflicht über nichtrealisierte Wertzuwächse und –verluste führt deshalb zu einer Übertragung der Kurschwankungen zwischen den Unternehmen und sendet Schockwellen durch das Finanzsystem.

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