Atlas bricht zusammen

Eine nachhaltige Erholung der Weltwirtschaft wird davon anhängen, ob es Amerika gelingt, auf die Beine zu kommen und seine Rolle als Importeur der letzten Instanz wieder einzunehmen. Ohne Aufschwung in der amerikanischen Wirtschaft ist kein anderes Land in der Lage, die Flaute zu überwinden. Leichten Optimismus gibt es für Japan, wo es allerdings in den enorm enttäuschenden letzten zehn Jahren zu viele Pseudo-Erholungsphasen gab, um diese Hoffnungen zu rechtfertigen.

Europa scheint ebenfalls eine Enttäuschung zu werden. Die Wachstumsprognosen werden kontinuierlich zurückgeschraubt, aber die Regierungen setzen weiter auf Ausgabensenkungen und Steuererhöhungen, um den Vorgaben des Wachstums- und Stabilitätspaktes gerecht zu werden. Auch die Europäische Zentralbank erscheint hilflos, denn sie ist an ihr selbst auferlegtes Inflationsziel gefesselt. Und die Märkte der Schwellenländer sind auch noch nicht groß genug, um eine bedeutsame Rolle im Hinblick auf die weltweite Nachfrage zu spielen.

Amerika bleibt daher die letzte Hoffnung der Weltwirtschaft. Dies ist aber aus zwei Gründen Besorgnis erregend. Erstens kann sich Amerika seine enormen (und weiter wachsenden) Leistungsbilanzdefizite nicht ewig leisten. Irgendwann wird das Interesse ausländischer Investoren, immer größere Teile ihres Vermögens in Amerika anzulegen, nachlassen oder ganz erlöschen. In diesem Fall wird der Dollar fallen, und der wirtschaftliche Impuls durch die amerikanische Importnachfrage kommt zum Erliegen.

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