Ist der Kapitalismus gescheitert?

NEW YORK – Bis sechs Tage vor dem Zusammenbruch von Lehman Brothers vor fünf Jahren erhielt die Rating-Agentur Standard & Poor’s das Investment-Grade-Rating des Unternehmens von „A“ aufrecht. Moody’s wartete sogar noch länger und wertete Lehman einen Werktag vor dessen Zusammenbruch ab. Wie können angesehene Rating-Agenturen – und Investmentbanken – zu solchen Fehleinschätzungen kommen?

Regulierungsbehörden, Banker und Rating-Agenturen tragen einen Großteil der Schuld für die Krise. Doch war der Beinahe-Zusammenbruch weniger ein Versagen des Kapitalismus als ein Versagen der modernen Wirtschaftsmodelle, die Rolle und Funktionsweise der Finanzmärkte – und, allgemeiner gesprochen, die Instabilität – in kapitalistischen Volkswirtschaften zu verstehen.

Diese Modelle stellten die vorgeblich wissenschaftliche Unterfütterung von politischen Entscheidungen und Finanzinnovationen dar, die die schlimmste Krise seit der großen Depression deutlich wahrscheinlicher, wenn nicht gar unvermeidlich machten. Nach dem Zusammenbruch von Lehman sagte der frühere US-Notenbankchef Alan Greenspan vor dem US-Kongress aus, er habe in der Ideologie, wonach das Eigeninteresse die Gesellschaft vor Exzessen des Finanzsystems schützen würde, „einen Fehler entdeckt“. Doch da war der Schaden bereits angerichtet.

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