Die Greenspan-Versuchung

WASHINGTON, DC – Die Autoren der Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten mussten eine grundlegende Entscheidung treffen: Sollte die Macht in den Händen eines Mannes konzentriert sein oder sollte man ein politisches System entwerfen, in dem der Einfluss auf die politische Entscheidungsfindung breiter gestreut wäre? Vor einer ähnlichen Entscheidung steht momentan US-Präsident Barack Obama in seinen Überlegungen, wer Ben Bernanke als Präsident des Vorstandes des Federal Reserve System nachfolgen soll.

Bernankes Vermächtnis ist ausgesprochen durchwachsen, doch das ansprechendste Merkmal seiner Amtszeit ist das von ihm bei der Fed geförderte Ethos der Kollegialität und der gemeinsamen Verantwortung. Tatsächlich sollte ein Hauptziel seines Nachfolgers sein, diesen Ansatz als neue institutionelle Tradition zu festigen.

Doch sowohl aus der Geschichte als auch aus den kürzlich von der Obama-Administration gestarteten Versuchsballons ist eine starke Tendenz in Richtung eines allmächtigen Fed-Präsidenten abzulesen. Dem Vorstand der Federal Reserve Board gehören zwar sieben Gouverneure an, doch über weite Strecken seiner Geschichte agierte der Vorstand im Schatten seiner Präsidenten, von denen drei (Marriner Eccles, William McChesney Martin und jüngst Alan Greenspan) beinahe 20 Jahre im Amt waren.

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