Paul Lachine


BERKELEY – In den 12 Jahren der Weltwirtschaftskrise – zwischen dem Börsencrash von 1929 und Amerikas Mobilisierung für den 2. Weltkrieg – lag die Produktion in den Vereinigten Staaten circa 15 Prozent unter dem Trend vor der Depression, was für die Wirtschaftsleistung insgesamt einen Ausfall von circa 1,8 Jahren des Bruttoinlandsprodukts bedeutete. In der derzeitigen Krise wird der Ausfall der USA, selbst wenn die US-Produktion 2017 zu ihrem inflationsstabilen Leistungspotenzial zurückkehrt – und auch das ist noch keineswegs sicher – ,60 Prozent eines jährlichen Bruttosozialproduktes betragen.

Die Verluste aus der „kleinen Depression“, wie ich sie genannt habe, werden sich nach 2017 jedoch wahrscheinlich noch fortsetzen. Am Horizont ist nichts zu erkennen, was der moralischen Zugkraft eines Krieges gliche, die den USA einen kräftigen Aufschwung bescheren und die Schatten der Krise vertreiben könnte. Und wenn ich anhand der gegenwärtigen Werte die niedrigere Trendwachstumsrate der US-Wirtschaft in die Zukunft prognostiziere, muss ich den aktuellen Wert des zusätzlichen Verlustes heute mit weiteren 100 Prozent einer Jahresproduktion ansetzen – sodass der Gesamtverlust 1,6 Jahre des Bruttoinlandsproduktes betrüge. Der Schaden ist damit fast so hoch wie der der Weltwirtschaftskrise – und ebenso schmerzhaft, auch wenn das reale Bruttoinlandsprodukt der USA heute 12 Mal so hoch ist wie 1929.

Wenn ich mit meinen Freunden in der Obama-Administration spreche, verteidigen sie sich und die langfristige makroökonomische Leistung in den USA, indem sie betonen, dem Rest der entwickelten Welt ginge es noch viel schlechter. Damit haben sie recht. Europa wäre froh, wenn es Amerikas Probleme hätte.

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