Die Wurzeln der US-Finanzkrise

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: Die verzweifelten Versuche der US Federal Reserve, Amerikas Konjunktur vor dem Absturz zu bewahren, sind aus mindestens zwei Gründen bemerkenswert. Erstens war es noch vor ein paar Monaten herkömmliche Weisheit, dass die USA eine Rezession würden vermeiden können. Nun sieht es sicher so aus, als käme diese. Zweitens scheinen die Maßnahmen der Fed nicht zu wirken. Obwohl die Fed die Zinsen radikal gesenkt hat und die in Finanznöten steckenden Banken mit Liquidität überschüttet, vertieft sich die Krise weiter.

Dabei hat die Fed, unterstützt durch das Wunschdenken der Bush-Administration, die Krise in den USA tatsächlich großteils selbst verursacht. Einer der Hauptschuldigen war niemand anders als Alan Greenspan, der dem aktuellen Chairman der Fed, Ben Bernanke, eine schreckliche Lage hinterlassen hat. Freilich war Bernanke selbst Gouverneur der Fed während der Greenspan-Jahre, und auch er hat es versäumt, die wachsenden Probleme mit der Notenbankpolitik korrekt zu diagnostizieren. 

Die heutige Finanzkrise hat ihre unmittelbaren Wurzeln im Jahre 2001, am Ende des Internetbooms und inmitten des Schocks nach den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September. Damals drehte die Fed an den Geldhahn auf, um zu versuchen, eine Konjunkturverlangsamung zu verhindern. Sie pumpte Geld in die US-Volkswirtschaft und senkte ihren Leitzins – die Federal Funds Rate – von 3,5% im August 2001 auf bloße 1% Mitte 2003. Und sie hielt diesen Zinssatz zu lange zu niedrig.

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