Die große Mäßigung

Vor zwanzig Jahren wurde Alan Greenspan Präsident der amerikanischen Federal Reserve Bank. In diesen zwei Jahrzehnten stiegen die weltweiten Durschnittseinkommen rascher als jemals zuvor und auch Episoden von Massenarbeitslosigkeit verursachender Deflation sowie Wohlstand vernichtender Inflation hielten sich in bemerkenswert engen Grenzen. Lediglich Japans verlorene fünfzehn Jahre und die Härten des Überganges nach dem Kommunismus gelten als makroökonomische Katastrophen jenes Ausmaßes, wie sie in früheren Jahrzehnten mit deprimierender Häufigkeit auf der Tagesordnung standen.

Von dieser „großen Mäßigung“ war bei Amtsantritt Alan Greenspans nichts zu ahnen. Damals war die amerikanische Haushaltspolitik gründlich aus den Fugen geraten – noch mehr als heute.

Indien schien im Sumpf der Stagnation zu versinken. China wuchs zwar, aber der mittlere Lebensstandard lag nicht wirklich höher als in der Zeit der so genannten „goldenen Jahre“ in den frühen 1950er Jahren, nachdem Grund und Boden neu aufgeteilt wurden und bevor die Kollektivierung in der Landwirtschaft aus Bauern Leibeigene machte. Die Arbeitslosigkeit in Europa war gerade stark angestiegen und die „sozialistischen“ Länder waren mit rationaler Wirtschaftsentwicklung derart unvereinbar, dass deren politischen Systeme binnen zwei Jahren zusammenbrachen. Lateinamerika steckte nach dem Ausbruch der Schuldenkrise Anfang der 1980er Jahre selbst mitten in seinem verlorenen Jahrzehnt.

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