Das Vertrauensspiel

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: Im nächsten Monat jährt sich der Zusammenbruch der ehrwürdigen US-Investmentbank Lehman Brothers. Der Absturz von Lehman markierte den Beginn einer weltweiten Rezession und Finanzkrise, wie sie die Welt seit der Großen Depression der 1930er Jahre nicht mehr erlebt hatte. Nach einem Jahr, Billionen von Dollars an öffentlichem Geld und umfassenden Insichgehens der Politik weltweit steht nun die Frage im Raum, ob wir unsere Lektion gelernt haben. Ich fürchte, nein.

Überwältigender Konsens innerhalb der politischen Gemeinschaft ist, dass, wenn die Regierung bloß Lehman gerettet hätte, das Ganze ein Schluckauf und keine Herzattacke geworden wäre. Berühmte Investoren und führende Politiker haben gleichermaßen ihrer Ansicht Ausdruck verliehen, dass man in unserer ultravernetzten Weltwirtschaft ein großes Finanzinstitut wie Lehman niemals pleite gehen lassen dürfe. Egal, wie schlecht es sein Geschäft managt (Lehman hatte sich im Wesentlichen in eine Immobilien-Holding verwandelt, die völlig vom Fortbestand der US-Häuserblase abhängig war): Die Kreditgeber eines großen Finanzinstituts sollten ihr Geld immer zurückgekommen. Andernfalls würde das Vertrauen in das System untergraben, und ein Chaos bräche aus.

Nachdem ihnen also die Offenbarung gekommen war, dass eine finanzielle Neustrukturierung unter allen Umständen verhindert werden müsse, haben die Regierungen weltweit ein riesiges Sicherheitsnetz über die Banken (und in Osteuropa über komplette Länder) ausgebreitet, geknüpft aus dem Geld der Steuerzahler.

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