Tuesday, September 2, 2014
18

Schwierige Lockerung

NEW YORK – Die Entscheidung der US-Notenbank (Fed), eine dritte Runde der quantitativen Lockerung („QE3“) einzuleiten, hat drei wichtige Fragen aufgeworfen. Wird die QE3 Amerikas blutleeres Wirtschaftswachstum auf Touren bringen? Wird sie zu einem anhaltenden Anstieg der Preise riskanter Vermögenswerte führen, insbesondere an den US- und anderen globalen Aktienmärkten? Und schließlich, werden ihre Auswirkungen auf das BIP-Wachstum und die Aktienmärkte ähnlich ausfallen wie vorher oder anders?

Man hört derzeit häufig, dass die Auswirkungen der QE3 auf riskante Vermögenswerte mindestens ebenso stark sein dürften wie jene der QE1, der QE2 und der „Operation Twist“, einem früheren Programm der Fed zum Ankauf von Staatsanleihen. Schließlich waren alle bisherigen Runden mit einem anhaltenden Anstieg der Aktienkurse verbunden; Umfang und Laufzeit der QE3 jedoch sind größer. Trotz des beeindruckenden Bekenntnisses der Fed zu einer aggressiven Lockerung der Geldpolitik freilich könnten die Auswirkungen auf die Realwirtschaft und die US-Aktien diesmal geringer und kurzfristiger ausfallen, als es bei den bisherigen QE-Runden der Fall war.

Erstens fanden die bisherigen QE-Runden zu Zeiten statt, in denen die Aktienbewertungen und -erträge deutlich niedriger waren. Im März 2009 stand der S&P 500 Index bei nur 660 Punkten, der Gewinn je Aktie der US-amerikanischen Unternehmen und Banken war finanzkrislich bedingt auf einen Tiefstand gefallen, und die Kurs-Gewinn-Verhältnisse wiesen einstellige Werte auf. Heute steht der S&P 500 mehr als 100% höher (er verharrt derzeit bei rund 1430 Punkten), der durchschnittliche Gewinn pro Aktie liegt bei nahezu 100 US-Dollar, und die KGVs liegen über 14.

Selbst während der QE2, im Sommer 2010, waren S&P 500, KGVs und Gewinn pro Aktie deutlich niedriger als heute. Falls das Wirtschaftswachstum in den USA trotz QE3 blutleer bleibt, werden die Umsätze und Gewinne fallen, mit negativen Folgen für die Aktienkurse.

Zudem gibt es diesmal keine Unterstützung seitens der Fiskalpolitik: QE1 und QE2 trugen dazu bei, einen schwereren Einbruch der Konjunktur zu verhindern bzw. eine w-förmige Rezession zu vermeiden, weil beide mit erheblichen Steuerimpulsen verknüpft waren. Die QE3 dagegen wird mit einer fiskalischen Kontraktion einhergehen, möglicherweise sogar einer großen „Fiskalklippe“.

Selbst wenn die USA die zum Ende des Jahres drohende Fiskalklippe von 4,5% teilweise umschiffen können, ist es hochgradig wahrscheinlich, dass von der Fiskalpolitik 2013 eine Bremswirkung auf die Konjunktur von 1,5% vom BIP ausgeht. Da die US-Wirtschaft derzeit mit einer Jahresrate von 1,6% wächst, hätte selbst eine fiskalpolitische Bremswirkung von nur einem Prozent 2013 nahezu eine Stagnation zur Folge, obwohl eine bescheidene Erholung im Eigenheimsektor und in der produzierenden Industrie zusammen mit der QE3 das US-Wachstum 2013 in etwa auf seiner derzeitigen Höhe halten dürfte.

Doch ein umfassenderer Aufschwung wird ausbleiben. Sowohl 2010 wie 2011 zeigten führende Wirtschaftsindikatoren, dass bereits vor der Ankündigung der quantitativen Lockerung der Abschwung der ersten Jahreshälfte seine Teilsohle erreicht hatte und sich das Wachstum beschleunigte. Die QE gab also einer sich bereits erholenden Wirtschaft einen kleinen Schub, was die Erholungsphase der Aktienkurse verlängerte.

Im Gegensatz dazu legen neuste Daten nahe, dass sich die US-Wirtschaft derzeit so lustlos entwickelt wie in der ersten Jahreshälfte. Wenn überhaupt haben die Schwäche des US-Arbeitsmarktes, niedrige Investitionsausgaben und ein geringes Einnahmewachstum die Signale des Frühsommers, dass das Wachstum im dritten Quartal robuster ausfallen könnte, konterkariert.

Zugleich sind die wichtigsten Kanäle für die Übertragung geldpolitischer Impulse in die Realwirtschaft – die Renten-, Kredit-, Devisen- und Aktienmärkte – nach wie vor schwach, wenn nicht gar beschädigt. Tatsächlich dürfte vom Rentenmarkt kaum Wachstum ausgehen. Die Renditen der langfristigen Staatsanleihen sind schon jetzt sehr niedrig, und eine weitere Verringerung wird die Kreditkosten privater Marktteilnehmer nicht wesentlich ändern.

Auch der Kreditkanal funktioniert nicht ordnungsgemäß, denn die Banken horten den Großteil der zusätzlichen Liquidität, die ihnen die QE verschafft hat, und haben überschüssige Reserven aufgebaut, statt das Geld zu verleihen. Wer einen Kredit aufnehmen kann, hat genug Geld und ist vorsichtig dabei, es auszugeben, während jene, die Kredite aufnehmen möchten – hochverschuldete Haushalte und Unternehmen (insbesondere KMUs) – keine bekommen.

Der Währungskanal ist in ähnlicher Weise beschädigt. Angesichts des nachlassenden weltwirtschaftlichen Wachstums dürften die Nettoexporte selbst bei einer Abschwächung des Dollars kaum deutlich zunehmen. Zudem setzen außer der Fed noch viele andere bedeutende Notenbanken Varianten der QE um, was die Wirkung der Maßnahmen der Fed auf den Wert des Dollars dämpft.

Am wichtigsten jedoch ist möglicherweise, dass die Auswirkungen eines schwächeren Dollars auf die Handelsbilanz und damit auf das Wachstum durch zwei Faktoren beschränkt werden. Erstens ist ein schwächerer Dollar mit einem höheren Dollarpreis für Rohstoffe verbunden, was eine Bremswirkung auf die Handelsbilanz impliziert, weil die USA ein Nettoimporteur von Rohstoffen sind. Und zweitens führt jede von stärkeren Exporten ausgehende Verbesserung beim BIP zu einer Zunahme der Importe. Empirische Studien schätzen, dass die Gesamtwirkung eines schwächeren Dollars auf die Handelsbilanz in etwa bei null liegt.

Der einzig verbleibende wichtige Kanal, über den sich die QE auf die Realwirtschaft auswirken könnte, ist ein durch steigende Aktienmärkte bedingter Vermögenseffekt. Die Argumentation allerdings, dass die QE3 zu einem anhaltenden Anstieg der Aktienkurse führen würde, ist in gewissem Umfang zirkulär. Wenn eine dauerhafte Erholung bei den Vermögenswerten eine deutliche Erholung des BIP-Wachstums erfordert, ist die Aussage, dass, wenn die Aktienkurse nach einer quantitativen Lockerung genügend steigen, der aus einem Vermögenseffekt resultierende BIP-Anstieg den Anstieg bei den Vermögenspreisen rechtfertigt, eine Tautologie. Wenn die geldpolitischen Übertragungskanäle zur Realwirtschaft zusammengebrochen sind, ist nicht davon auszugehen, dass die QE eine signifikante Wirkung auf das Wirtschaftswachstum haben wird.

US-Notenbankchef Ben Bernanke hat vor kurzem die Bedeutung eines zusätzlichen Kanals herausgestellt: des Vertrauenskanals, durch den das Bekenntnis der Fed zur längerfristigen Wahrung eines großzügigen geldpolitischen Umfeldes die privaten Ausgaben steigern könnte. Die Frage ist, wie substantiell und dauerhaft derartige Auswirkungen sind. Vertrauen ist zerbrechlich in einem Umfeld, das durch anhaltende Entschuldung, makroökonomische Unsicherheiten, ein schwaches Wachstum des Arbeitsmarktes und eine bremsende Fiskalpolitik gekennzeichnet ist.

Kurz gesagt: Die QE3 verringert das Extremrisiko einer deutlichen wirtschaftlichen Kontraktion, dürfte jedoch in einem Wirtschaftsumfeld, das noch immer einen schmerzhaften Entschuldungsprozess durchläuft, kaum zu einer anhaltenden Konjunkturerholung führen. Kurzfristig wird die QE3 die Anleger ermutigen, Risiken einzugehen, und eine moderate Erhöhung der Vermögenspreise bewirken. Doch der Anstieg der Aktienkurse dürfte sich, falls das Wirtschaftswachstum enttäuscht – was wahrscheinlich ist – mit der Zeit verflüchtigen, und die Erwartungen in Bezug auf Unternehmenserlöse und -rentabilität mit nach unten ziehen.

Aus dem Englischen von Jan Doolan

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  1. CommentedRobert O'Regan

    We all know that, without a gold standard, you can screw with the rate of interest and monetary policy to benefit specific groups....this is not new stuff; deal with the issue, please.

  2. Portrait of Christopher T. Mahoney

    CommentedChristopher T. Mahoney

    QE1 represented a 125% growth in the monetary base; QE2 represented a 30% growth. QE3, if it continues for six months, will represent 9% growth. Its scale builds with time, at $40B or ~2% per month. Right now it has zero effect, because the monetary base has not yet begun to grow.

  3. CommentedMarten Klein

    Easing is an euphemism for money printing. Aggressive monetary easing the road to hyperinflation. With easing dollars becomes an official banana currency. An issue, Mr. Roubini? Depends, hope the US FED know what they are doing, otherwise the US may quickly detroitify.

  4. Commentedsrinivasan gopalan

    Mr.Roubini has demonstrated the futility of persisting with monetary easing to artificially flood the money market, even when such unorthodox monetary mesures have their own limits. Given the structural rigidities embedded in the US economy it is not the availability of credit at zero rate that would fire up entrepreneurial animal spirit because basically the private sector is finding it difficult to pay back when times are bad like this on loans they had contracted at easier terms. Besides, productivity of labour and efficiency of capital need to be focused if the Federal Reserve seeks to have some result of its quantitative easing. The Federal Government cannot pursue a fiscal splurge policy when borrowings are easier for both State-funded programmes including bailouts of investment banks and to private sector which does not have any appetite to lap up funds for expansion and greenfield projects. The dilemma of fiscal and monetary policy coherence needs to be resolved before any contemplated surge in activity could supervene. This is as good a case for the United States as it is for India where the authorities had to zero in on unrelenting inflation that slaps the cruelest form of taxation on the poorest of the poor. G.Srinivasan, Journalist, New Delhi.

  5. CommentedRoman Bleifer

    QE3, as the previous QE, will only increase the scale of speculative financial transactions, but does not lead to economic growth. From another throw empty money GDP will not increase. And the risk that a financial bubble bursts significantly increased. The real economy does not get as credit and will not receive them. Throw-empty money does not solve the systemic problems, and the global crisis is systemic ( http://crisismir.com/analiticheskie-materialy/ekonomika/13-mirovoj-ekonomicheskij-krizis-prichiny-i-posledstviya-quo-vadis.html ). Need for reform of the stock markets. the current system of stock market investment is not fulfilling its functions and work on herself as a speculative system.

  6. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    As many of the other comments suggest this is simply another cosmetic surgery, like pouring petrol (more precisely virtual petrol) into a car that has no engine.
    Easing or stimulus only makes sense if it could kick-start something that has slowed down, stopped, but structurally still intact and can be restarted.
    But this is not true to the US or to the global economy.
    People are desperately trying to avoid looking at the real root cause of the crisis: the unsustainable and unnatural constant quantitative growth model.
    Besides in a global, interdependent network no individual or country can make unilateral decisions based on self-calculations since it changes, disturbs the mechanics of the whole network.
    Until people, especially today's leader start taking into consideration that we all fully depend on each other as we are interconnected whether we like it or now, and that in a closed and finite natural living system constant quantitative growth is impossible, we are going to slide deeper and deeper into this system failure.
    This is an unprecedented, evolutionary stage humanity has no historical experience for, thus first we need to study and understand where we are and how harmony and balance can be restored.
    We already significantly exhausted both the natural and human resources, thus there is not much time left to start building a new system before we are running out of options.

  7. CommentedDavid Rodrigues

    Same thing occurred during Japanese crisis, well I mean Japanese depression (when it's so long, it's not a crisis anymore :).

    Japan did the same fearing the systemic risk, injecting a so huge amount of liquidity and creating an unsustainable public deficit. All the financial and banking system stood unchanged (no need to change when they give you free money for your failures).

    So my question is : is a system based on growth possible for already grown countries, without huge amount of debt of course ?

  8. CommentedElizabeth Pula

    My following comments are twisting “Hard to be easing”. Really since, we’re in to the third round of QE, OMG! I am looking at the crisis ??? from a down-to-earth street view. Roubini and the other greats that are the lead contributors to this site take the high road. I live on a dirt road. So, I am going to use some statistics and comments starting with the ordinary day-to-day transactions of a dollar and dollars. Hopefully, ALL the PRICES that I have selected are what a dollar at that time could purchase at that time, and then I present some questions about the dollar today. And, yes, I think I am doing a more relevant “OPERATION TWIST”, than Bernanke couldn’t even dream about, if I can stay alive at least a year or so past 2014. But, I don’t want to digress too much so, to get back down to earth…….

    What is the price of gasoline in 2012, in 2012 dollars in the US?
    What was the price of gasoline a few years ago, relatively speaking?

    From http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2012/03/14/charting-the-dramatic-gas-price-rise-of-the-last-decade/

    Average cost for a gallon of gas in the U.S. between 1998-2011:
    CLINTON YEARS
    1998 — $1.03
 1999 — $1.14 
2000 — $1.49
    BUSH YEARS
    2001 — $1.43
 2002 — $1.34
 2003 — $1.56 
2004 — $1.85
2005 — $2.27
 2006 — $2.58 
2007 — $2.81 
2008 — $3.26
    OBAMA YEARS
    2009 — $2.35
 2010 — $2.78
 2011 — $3.53


    So, now lets look at labor over a longer time period beginning from 1970’s through 2006, just to get an idea about wages and the distribution of earnings in the USA. AND what are you earning today in today’s dollar? AND what is the minimum wage today in today’s dollar? Could you buy gas and make a round-trip home on a minimum hourly wage today? Could you ten years ago? How many people have public transportation to go to work and get back home EASILY? Or would it take 3 hours or more roundtrip??? What’s affordable?


    From WIKIPEDIA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

    (the whole article has some pretty good information to think about for a while. Even a 10-year-old can read it.)

    In 2006, there were approximately 116,011,000 households in the United States. 1.93% of all households had annual incomes exceeding $250,000.[6] 12.3% fell below the federal poverty threshold[7] and the bottom 20% earned less than $19,178.[8] The aggregate income distribution is highly concentrated towards the top, with the top 6.37% earning roughly one third of all income, and those with upper-middle incomes controlling a large, though declining, share of the total earned income.[3][9]
    Income inequality in the United States, which had decreased slowly after World War II until 1970, began to increase in the 1970s until reaching a peak in 2006. It declined a little in 2007.[10] Households in the top quintile (i.e., top 20%), 77% of which had two or more income earners, had incomes exceeding $91,705. Households in the mid quintile, with a mean of approximately one income earner per household had incomes between $36,000 and $57,657. Households in the lowest quintile had incomes less than $19,178 and the majority had no income earner.[11]

    Are you making more money or less money annually than you were 10 years ago? How many people do you think are making more money annually than they were 10 years ago?

    Now, let’s look at the price of milk. Just a snapshot comparision in 1999 and 2009 dollars:

    Gallon of milk $2.88 $3.05


    There is a great list of other comparisons, from this site:
    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/12/29/then-vs-now-how-prices-have-changed-since-1999/

    How much is a gallon of milk at your grocery store in 2012? Are you experiencing inflation or deflation of the US dollar?
    And, now to get a little bit nosy…
    Are you still earning a living where any kind of taxes are reported on your earnings? Do you report and actually pay any kind of taxes based on any kind of annual earnings? How about consumption taxes? Who pays the highest relative percentage of consumption taxes based on income, poor people or rich people? What's poor and what's rich?

    How has quantitative easing helped you financially in any kind of way? How has quantitative easing helped other human beings in your neighborhood, town, county in any way? If you have any, are any of your investments or real assets worth more than 10 years ago? What can you sell? What can you buy? How EASY is it to buy or sell what you need and what you think you may want?

    How many others of approximately 116,011,000 households in the United States can enjoy some fun times together, or are stuck between a rock and a hard place, caught in a real steal? Where are you after working 30 years or so? Where are you just getting out of high school or college?

    How many wage earners are really on easy street or any where near to it? How many can even get close to it, or ever find it in 2012?

    So, depending on actual numbers, estimated numbers, or general statistics, until more folks really have some extra money, rather than incomes allowing spending for only bottom-line essentials on a daily or whatever statistical basis, GDP is only going to change based on annual birth and death statistics, and the effect of those births and deaths on the GDP and basic consumption. What are the projected birth and death statistics for the US? What is the projected effects to annual GDP?

    And to include an effective austerity example to affect any economy:

    Is the activity in Syria the new trending, or the new repeat of a really old model of the most effective significant way to affect economic growth?
    Isn’t Syria using principles of austerity to the max? It’s not pretty. But, it works.

    What’s some practical alternatives at local levels, by local people?

    Any body got any practical ideas? And, of course, how and who pays for what, with what, and when, and where?


      Commentedjames durante

      Yes, this is a more detailed examination of the points i raised (and frank callaghan below). Only Obama's stimulus plan, most of it, went to middle and low income people. But it mostly just kept public employees at work and gave a little tax boost. All the trillions went to banks, gm, aig, qe's and zero interest rates (with historic record spreads between prime rate and the anks rates to customers). The rich win again even when they lose.

      I don't have any solutions at least any that are realistic given the political dynamics in place. Occupy was swept out of the parks by storm troopers, and no one seemed to object. I guess people accept that neo-fascism for dssenters is the flip side of bailing out the rich. Well, you can always join the "tea party." How Orwellian!

      The dam will have to break through sustained political turmoil and ten we hope that the rich will be forced to give way a bit. Otherwise we are ultimately facing a "golden dawn."

  9. Commentedjames durante

    We keep going around in circles. No aggregate demand due to excessive debt and stagnant or falling wages. The top 1% get 25% of the income and have 40% of the wealth. The gini coefficient for the US is on par with Russia, Venezuela, Argentina and a smattering of African countries.

    The wage squeeze has set corporate profits soaring and the cozy relationship between banks and DC means no serious financial reform.

    There is no mechanism for altering inequality, quite the contrary. So, invest in a luxury goods fund. What did Citigroup call it? The "plutonomy?"

      Commenteddalai guevara

      James
      Correct, the increasing spiral of QE as preached predominantely by the UK and the US will further fuel inequality and commodity pricing. We will ultimately come to the point, where ENERGY will become unaffordable for large sections of society. Travel will reduce, heating your home will become unaffordable, up to the point where even renationalisation of the energy market will be on the table.

      Blimey, interesting times lie ahead.

  10. CommentedRay DAMANI

    All QEs are of the banks, for the banks, by the banks! (I exclude the English Queens Elizabeth.)

    Everything else is spin without real transmission fluid money into the pockets of working Americans.

    Free money for Wall Street and TBTF banks to earn risk free returns and artificially support their [formerly toxic] asset prices mean a GULAG ECONOMY for ordinary Americans and savers.

  11. CommentedJohn Wiederspan

    You can lead business to credit, but you can't make them borrow. Two more points: (1) Easy credit/low % rates, in many countries, was the cause of their troubles (2) Using central banks to stimulate an economy is to misuse the bank. As an old school monetarist, I can only sadly shake my head at the idea that a central bank should play any role in stimulating economic growth. Price stability is the alpha and the omega.

  12. Commentedhacim obmed

    The effect of QE3 will be a massive increase in price of stock, especially for companies with inelastic cash flow, regular dividends and a semi-monopolistic position that allows them to stay even with inflation. Examples would be AT&T, Tobacco companies, natural resource companies, railroads, certain REITs, some pharma/healthcare companies, and Master limited partnerships in the midstream energy business. Such companies will sell 20 or 30 year bonds while QE3 keeps rates low and will use the proceeds to buy back their own stock while their stock prices are a bargain. They will take on the maximum leverage possible now now now. Then in a few years inflation will tick up towards 10% and the bond prices will fall. They will retire the bonds with inflated money. The net result will be a huge contraction in the supply of stock and a huge increase in its value and in dividends. It is going to be great for investors who have capital. Sadly it will be a total wipe out for the real economy and for middle class people who work for a salary. As usual they will be screwed.

      CommentedRay DAMANI

      As long as people have money to pay their ever increasing iPhone bills and increasingly taxed Marlboro packs.

  13. CommentedFrank O'Callaghan

    What has happened to the world economy?
    Over the last half Century it has become more prosperous. That prosperity has been spread widely in a geographical sense. The benefits have accrued more narrowly in recent years in a social sense. Less than one million families have gained the greater part of the wealth of a world of seven thousand million people.

    What is the role of easing? It is currently a tool in the system that has created this unsustainable system. It does not address the core issue of inequality.

  14. Commenteddonna jorgo

    so you mean they needed stimulation ..but not from money becouse is very low valute (bond and gold).
    AND my opinion fiscal cliff can fix with stimulation recapitalize bank ..(this will not be imediatly )because is difficult but will give push for start..
    you know this is global poblem (GLOBAL) YOU KNOW BETTER OF EVERYONE WHY?
    THANK YOU NICE ARTICLE

  15. CommentedIvan Kitov

    There is an internal controversy in your piece. There was some traction between QE and real economy in the beginning and then it disappeared somehow. What has happened to this traction and why it was not used to a greater extent? A simpler hypothesis is that there was no traction before and there is no traction now, with monetary policy just following natural evolution of system. It have saved the financial system, however.

  16. CommentedDoug Levin

    I admit to being confused. I thought that the channel for getting QE into the economy was federal government spending. The means described here all appear to this economy novice to be secondary or indirectly supported. Why isn't federal deficit spending of this QE money considered as a source for economic stimulation? Please Mr. Roubini if you would comment I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

      CommentedPaulo Sérgio

      QE is more of a money printing exercise than deficit/government spending. Very simply, the Fed prints money, the value of the dollar declines.

      It basically represents a wall of cash - liquidity - the Fed is targeting at specific points, mainly financial institutions. It hopes that there will be "enough to go around" to the average consumer who needs the credit to do a, b and c and create employment by doing so -- which lifts labor market sentiment, in turn lifting consumer sentiment. Consumers account for nearly 80% of US GDP.

  17. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    The relative ease with which monetary stimulus can be extended in the downturn (and therefore increase the balance sheet by bond buying), the same ability is halted to unwind the stimulus (and therefore sell the assets) when the upturn starts and this asymmetry in the transmission mechanism translates into shocks that impact the price-wage stickiness.
    The same is true as given in the recent IMF report on page 67, when it comes to fiscal deficits, where it is easier to operate with deficits in the downturn while difficult to reduce the same when the upturn starts.
    These asymmetries do not bode well with the general perception that monetary and fiscal actions can be made effective if the timing is right and is in measured dozes.
    Procyon Mukherjee

  18. CommentedLuke Ho-Hyung Lee

    If monetary policy’s transmission channels to the real economy are broken, what should we do? How can we fix them? That is the real question. Disappointedly, nobody has provided the answer.

    Please also see this article for fixing that broken channels: “A Real Market Revolution as a Solution for the Current Economic Crisis: A Reappraisal of Current Forecasts of Upcoming US Federal Deficit and Employment” http://savingtheworldeconomy.blogspot.com/2010/11/real-market-revolution-as-solution-for.html

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