Die Geheimsprache der Zentralbanker

„Sollten Ihnen meine Aussagen zu klar gewesen sein”, sagte Alan Greenspan einst vor dem US-Kongress, „müssen Sie mich missverstanden haben.“ Man schrieb das Jahr 1987 und der neu ins Amt bestellte Chef der Federal Reserve führte gerade aus, wie er in den letzten Monaten seit er „ein Zentralbanker wurde“, gelernt hatte „zusammenhangloses Zeug zu murmeln.“

Greenspan war – zumindest in der Praxis, wenn schon nicht in der Theorie, denn wer verstand schon seine Theorie? - felsenfest überzeugt, dass die Sprache der Zentralbanker ein möglichst unklarer Kauderwelsch zu sein hätte. Im Vergleich dazu war die Prophezeiung des Orakels von Delphi für den König von Lydien – „Wenn du Persien angreifst, wirst du ein großes Reich zerstören“ – geradezu ein Musterbeispiel an Klarheit.

Das alte Argument für das „Greenspanische“ lautete: Wähler oder Politiker oder beide agieren von Natur aus kurzsichtig. Sie möchten immer nur die Vorteile niedriger Zinsen und erhöhtem Nachfragedruck genießen – gesteigerte Produktion, höhere Beschäftigung, höhere Löhne und höhere kurzfristige Profite. Was sie aber entweder nicht sehen wollen oder zynischerweise gleichgültig in Kauf nehmen, sind die Probleme der Stagflation, die eine solche Politik zwangsläufig mit sich bringt. Die Aufgabe einer Zentralbank ist laut William McChesney Martin, eines früheren Vorgängers von Greenspan, „die Bowle [der niedrigen Zinssätze] in Sicherheit zu bringen, bevor die Party richtig losgeht.”

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