Donnerstag, 22. März 2012

Keynesianismus während der Großen Rezession

Netter Aufsatz von Farrell und Quiggin über "The Rise and Fall of Keynesianism During the Economic Crisis". Darin erörtern die Autoren, wie das Zurückgreifen auf Finanzpolitik während der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise erst prominent wurde und dann

Die Autoren heben deutlich die Rolle des IWFs hervor:
"The Keynesian resurgence was not entirely a product of the crisis. A Keynesian analysis and associated prescriptions had already begun to emerge in expert debate in January 2008, before the crisis proper hit. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the IMF, had announced at Davos that “a new fiscal policy is probably today an accurate way to answer the crisis”, prompting Larry Summers to note that “This is the first time in 25 years that the IMF managing director has called for an increase in fiscal deficits” [Giles and Tett, 2008]. Both Strauss-Kahn and the IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, were pragmatic Keynesians, with a theoretical bent that differed markedly from the previous consensus position at an institution notoriously fond of advocating fiscal retrenchment for countries in difficulty. However, it was only as the recession began to change into an actual crisis from September 2008 on, that Keynesianism began to really shape debate. By late 2008, economists such as Barry Eichengreen and Paul Krugman were taking to the press to make the case for aggressive coordinated fiscal policy [Eichengreen, 2008]."
"All this [die Aussagen des IWFs und andere im Text erwähnte Entwicklungen] led to the appearance of a new apparent consensus among expert economists - that fiscal stimulus was the appropriate tool to deal with the recession. The new consensus quickly reshaped opinion among economic policy makers in international institutions with close ties to the research community, such as the IMF. On November 15 2008, Dominique Strauss-Kahn proposed a global fiscal stimulus program to the G-20, suggesting a stimulus of 2% of world GDP was necessary to help maintain growth. What was remarkable was not so much Strauss-Kahn’s proposal, as the nearly complete absence of dissent within the IMF, an institution which had until recently been associated with very different economic ideas."
Als stärkste Widersacher des "neuen zeitweiligen Konsens" wird im Aufsatz die EZB ...
"The European Central Bank was far more skeptical about the benefits of fiscal stimulus. In speeches and press briefings, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and his senior colleagues repeatedly stressed the need to observe EU rules on deficit reduction, and for weaker states to return to fiscal consolidation as quickly as possible. However, they systematically declined to criticize Keynesian policies and the Keynesian approach as such. As described by a senior ECB official:

"At the time, we were cautious in saying well, there may be some in a better position fiscally, notably Germany and a couple of others, where we we wouldn’t necessarily object, but there were others who were in no position to open the purse and lavishly spend all sorts of discretionary spending programs."

While ECB officials were privately unconvinced by the logic of Keynesian demand stimulation, they refrained from openly expressing their disquiet. Hence, the expert consensus among economists over the benefits of Keynesianism was not only the result of prominent economists with Keynesian leanings finding their voice, and former prominent anti-Keynesians experiencing Damascene conversions. It was also supported by the reticence of those who disagreed with the new consensus, sometimes vigorously, yet found it impolitic or inopportune to express their doubts openly."
... und (anfänglich) die deutsche Politik ausgemacht:
"Rather than worrying about the instability of the private economy, German ‘ordoliberals’ emphasized the role that private sector actors could play in coordinating and organizing capitalism. [...] Facing into the crisis, German politicians - primed by an anti-inflation consensus among both economists and voters, were strongly opposed to activist fiscal policy."
Im Laufe der (sehr schwachen) Erholung nach der Rezession gewannen dann laut den Autoren die anti-Keynesianer wieder die Oberhand:
"The Keynesian revival was relatively short-lived. The Keynesian revival saw its peak in early 2009. By mid-2010, Keynesians such as Brad DeLong were lamenting that they had lost the war"
"Part of the answer lay in the lurking crisis of government debt. By early 2010, the cost of the bailout, and the likelihood of further banking failures, had begun to threaten the solvency of a few beleaguered governments."

"Thus, an apparent consensus among economists - that Keynesian measures were necessary and urgent - began to give way to a visibly two-sided debate over how and when to move back towards fiscal balance. Moreover, some economists sought strategically to widen the debate so as to discredit fiscal policy more generally. The European Central Bank had taken a back seat in debates about fiscal policy during the early stages of the crisis, correctly sensing that it was not a politically opportune time to press member to observe the fiscal strictures of Economic and Monetary Union. However, as the crisis receded, Bank officials used arguments about the timing of retrenchment to reassert their authority."
Zum Schluss beschreiben die Autoren auf der Metaebene, wie es zu einem solch starken Umschwung des Konseses 2008/09 kommen konnte und warum das Pendel nach der Rezession wieder so schnell umschwang:
"In 2008-2009, it was important [für den Verlauf der Debatte] that a relatively small number of ‘star’ economists, mostly based in the US, made vigorous arguments for Keynesianism. It was also important that some key figures who previously had not been favorably disposed to Keynesianism changed their minds. This helped propagate the idea of Keynesian stimulus to economists who otherwise would likely have been inoculated against it. Some of these economists - such as members of the Council of Economic Experts [SVR] - played a key role in changing the field of debate within Germany and other European countries. Even if the actual consensus among economists was rather less solid than it appeared to outside observers, the appearance of an emerging consensus was what mattered. In 2010 in contrast, it mattered that there was a greater degree of disunity among economists in the US and within the IMF than there had been in the previous period. It also mattered that a new group of elite economists - those associated with the European Central Bank - had entered the fray. The debate was not nearly as one sided as it had been in the first instance. The contagion of the previous period in part reversed its course."
Es lohnt sich auf jeden Fall den ganzen Aufsatz durchzulesen, um die Entwicklung des Diskurses in den vergangenen Jahren zu verstehen.

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