Ungleichheit tötet den Kapitalismus

LONDON – Es herrscht allgemeine Einigkeit darüber, dass die Krise der Jahre 2008-2009 durch exzessive Kreditvergabe der Banken verursacht wurde, und dass die Erholung dadurch erschwert wird, dass sich die Banken aufgrund ihrer “zerstörten” Bilanzen weigern, Kredite zu vergeben.

Eine typische Geschichte, die von den Anhängern Friedrich von Hayeks und der Österreichischen Schule favorisiert wird, lautet wie folgt: Vor der Krise verleihen die Banken – dank der Bereitstellung übertrieben billigen Geldes durch die Zentralbanken, insbesondere die US-Federal-Reserve – mehr Geld an Kreditnehmer, als die Sparer eigentlich zu vergeben bereit gewesen wären. Mit Zentralbankgeld gefütterte Geschäftsbanken leiten Kredite an viele unsichere Investitionsprojekte weiter, und dieser Verleihwahn wird durch die Explosion finanzieller Innovationen (insbesondere derivativer Instrumente) noch verstärkt.

Diese umgekehrte Schuldenpyramide kollabierte, als die Fed durch die Erhöhung der Zinssätze die Ausgabenorgie bremste. (Die Fed hatte ihren Leitzinssatz, die Federal Funds Rate, von 1% im Jahr 2004 auf 5,25% 2006 erhöht und bis August 2007 auf diesem Niveau gelassen). Infolgedessen brachen die Häuserpreise zusammen und hinterließen eine Spur von Zombie-Banken (deren Verbindlichkeiten ihre Vermögenswerte bei weitem überstiegen) und ruinierten Schuldnern.

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