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MÜNCHEN – Um die Kernschmelze des amerikanischen Finanzsystems zu verhindern, hat der US-Kongress mit Müh und Not ein Rettungspaket für die Wall Street geschnürt. Die dafür vorgesehenen 700 Milliarden Dollar könnten allerdings in einen Topf mit einem großen Loch fließen, und ähnlich könnte es mit den Geldern passieren, die die europäischen Länder bereitstellen.

Die US-Finanzinstitutionen, die 2008 Bankrott gingen oder ohne staatliche Hilfe Bankrott gegangen wären, gerieten in Bedrängnis, weil es ihnen an Eigenkapital fehlte. Das Eigenkapital fehlte indes nicht, weil es nie vorhanden war, sondern weil in früheren Jahren ein zu großer Teil der reichlich fließenden Gewinne an die Aktionäre ausgezahlt und durch Fremdkapital ersetzt worden war. Werden die Eigenkapitalanforderungen für Banken und andere Finanzinstitutionen nicht verschärft, können sich Finanzkrisen wie die derzeitige jederzeit wiederholen.

Angelsächsische Finanzinstitutionen sind für ihre hohe Dividendenausschüttung bekannt. Shareholder Value wurde zum Schlüsselbegriff für ihre Strategie. Aus europäischer Sicht war der Hunger auf Dividenden und die Betonung kurzfristiger Leistungsziele ebenso erstaunlich wie erschreckend. Vor allem Investmentbanken sind für die Minimierung ihres Eigenkapitals bekannt. Während normale Banken eine Kernkapitalquote von zumindest 7 Prozent aufweisen müssen, operierten die Investmentbanken typischerweise mit einer Quote von lediglich 4 Prozent.

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