GENF – Als die Schweizerische Nationalbank (SNB) ihren Zinssatz vor Kurzem auf 0,25 % senkte, kündigte sie an, dass sie mit „quantitativer Lockerung“ beginnen und damit dem Beispiel der US-Notenbank Federal Reserve und der Bank of England folgen werde. Überraschender war die gleichzeitige Ankündigung, dass sie auf dem Devisenmarkt mit dem Ziel intervenieren werde, die Aufwertung des Franken umzukehren. Ist das die erste Salve in einem Krieg der Abwertungswettläufe?

Die Zinssätze sind in der Schweiz traditionell niedrig. Wie die meisten anderen Zentralbanken, die mit der Rezession konfrontiert sind, hat die SNB ihren Leitzins bis in den unteren Nullbereich gesenkt. Ist er dort einmal angekommen, wird die traditionelle Geldpolitik machtlos, da der Zinssatz nicht mehr als Werkzeug eingesetzt werden kann.

Deshalb suchen die Zentralbanken derzeit nach neuen Instrumenten. Die quantitative Lockerung stellt einen solchen Versuch dar. Es bleibt abzuwarten, ob sie tatsächlich einen gewissen geldpolitischen Einfluss wiederherstellen kann. Jedoch wird ein wichtiger Punkt selten erwähnt: In kleinen, offenen Wirtschaftsnationen – eine Beschreibung, die auf fast alle Länder zutrifft, außer auf die USA – stellt der Wechselkurs den Hauptkanal der Geldpolitik dar.

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