Dit herstel is anders

BRUSSEL – Beleidsmakers lieten de krediethausse aan het begin van de 21ste eeuw te lang voortduren vanuit de misplaatste overtuiging dat het “ditmaal anders zou gaan”. Daarmee effenden zij echter het pad voor de grootste financiële crisis sinds mensenheugenis. Nu we op herstel zitten te wachten, zou de overtuiging dat het ditmaal niet anders gaat even gevaarlijk kunnen zijn.

Het is al door veel beleidsmakers en economen opgemerkt: het herstel na de financiële crisis van 2007-2008 verloopt veel langzamer dan de meeste andere herstelperiodes na de Tweede Wereldoorlog, toen er gemiddeld genomen iets meer dan een jaar nodig was om de productie en de werkgelegenheid op het eerdere niveau te laten terugkeren. Volgens die norm verloopt het huidige herstel onaanvaardbaar langzaam: de productie en de werkgelegenheid liggen nog steeds onder hun vorige top. Daarom achten beleidsmakers het gerechtvaardigd om alle mogelijke macro-economische instrumenten in te zetten om een opleving zoals in het verleden op te wekken.

Maar zij houden daarbij geen rekening met het feit dat de recente crisis het gevolg was van een ongekende uiteengespatte krediethausse. Tot op zekere hoogte zou het logisch zijn om dan ook een ongekend herstel te verwachten. Toen de crisis uitbrak, hoopten velen op een V-vormig herstel. Een aanzienlijke berg research laat echter zien dat het herstel na een financiële crisis gewoonlijk zwakker is en langzamer verloopt dan herstelperiodes na “normale” recessies.

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