De overeenkomsten met 1937

NEW HAVEN – De depressie die volgde op de beurskrach van 1929 werd acht jaar later alleen nog maar erger, en het herstel zette pas in dankzij de enorme economische impuls die werd gegeven door de Tweede Wereldoorlog, een conflict dat ruim zestig miljoen levens kostte. Tegen de tijd dat het herstel definitief vorm kreeg, lag een groot deel van Europa en Azië in puin.

De huidige toestand in de wereld is bij lange na niet zo beroerd, maar er zijn overeenkomsten, met name met 1937. Net als toen zijn de mensen nu al lange tijd teleurgesteld, en velen verkeren in wanhoop. Zij maken zich steeds meer zorgen over hun economische toestand op de langere termijn. En dergelijke zorgen kunnen ernstige gevolgen hebben.

De gevolgen van de financiële crisis van 2008 voor de economieën van Oekraïne en Rusland zouden in laatste instantie bijvoorbeeld achter de recente oorlog daar kunnen zitten. Volgens het Internationale Monetaire Fonds ervoeren zowel Oekraïne als Rusland tussen 2002 en 2007 een spectaculaire groei: in die vijf jaar steeg het reële bbp perhoofdvandebevolking in Oekraïne met 52% en in Rusland met 46%. Dat is nu verleden tijd: de reële bbp-groei per hoofd van de bevolking bedroeg vorig jaar in Oekraïne slechts 0,2% en in Rusland slechts 1,3%. De ontevredenheid die door een dergelijke teleurstelling wordt teweeggebracht kan helpen de woede van de Oekraïense separatisten te verklaren, de ontevredenheid van Rusland en het besluit van de Russische president Vladimir Poetin om de Krim te annexeren en de separatisten te steunen.

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