Der Tod des Vertrauens

BANGKOK – Ein Freund stellte mir vor kurzem eine scheinbar naive Frage: „Was ist Geld? Wie kann ich wissen, ob sein Wert tatsächlich dem ihm beigemessenen Wert entspricht?” In den Einführungsvorlesungen für Ökonomie lernen wir, dass Geld ein Tauschmittel ist. Aber warum akzeptieren wir es? Eine Banknote ist nichts weiter als ein Stück Papier, auf dem eine Nummer steht.

Wir glauben an Banknoten, weil wir kollektiv beschließen, der Regierung zu vertrauen, wenn sie sagt, dass hundert eben hundert ist und nicht zehn oder fünfzig. Geld hat daher mit Vertrauen zu tun, ohne das keine Gesellschaft funktionieren kann.

Ebenso wie wir den Befehlen der Anführer, zu kämpfen und zu sterben, gehorchen, weil wir an ihr Urteilsvermögen glauben, vertrauen wir unsere beruflichen Karrieren und unser Geld den Managern von Citigroup und Goldman Sachs und anderen derartigen Banken an, weil wir annehmen, dass sie ihre Mitarbeiter und Kunden fair behandeln und redliche Geschäftspraktiken verfolgen. Wir wachsen nicht mit dem Wunsch auf, für Gauner und Lügner arbeiten zu wollen.

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