De grote kloof tussen de financiële markten en de politiek-economische werkelijkheid

PARIS – Sinds de tweede helft van 2012 hebben de financiële markten zich over de hele wereld in sterke mate hersteld. In de Verenigde Staten bereikte de Dow Jones-index begin maart het hoogste punt aller tijden, na vanaf september 2012 met bijna 9% te zijn gestegen. In Europa bleken de “Guns of August” (“de kanonnen van augustus”) van president Mario Draghi van de Europese Centrale Bank opmerkelijk effectief. Draghi wist het wegglijden in de vergetelheid van de euro te keren door potentieel onbeperkte aankopen te beloven van de staatsobligaties van lidstaten van de eurozone. Tussen 1 september en 22 februari is de Londense FTSEurofirst-index met bijna 7% gestegen. Ook in Azië zitten de financiële markten sinds september in de lift, het meest dramatisch in Japan.

Zelfs de Italiaanse verkiezingen van eind februari lijken de markten niet al te veel schrik te hebben aangejaagd (tot nu toe althans). Hoewel de rente op tienjarige Italiaanse en Spaanse staatsobligaties in verhouding tot die op Duitse staatsobligaties na de bekendmaking van de uitslag korte tijd met 30 tot 50 basispunten omhoog ging, stabiliseerde zij op 300 tot 350 basispunten, terwijl zij op 500 tot 600 basispunten had gestaan vóór het besluit van de ECB om met haar programma van “regelrechte monetaire transacties” te beginnen.

Maar deze bloei van de financiële markten strookt niet met de politieke gebeurtenissen en de reële economische indicatoren. In de Verenigde Staten zijn de economische prestaties in 2012 slechts marginaal verbeterd. Het bruto binnenlands product (bbp) is op jaarbasis met 2,3% gestegen, tegen 1,8% in 2011. De werkloosheid bleeft hoog, met 7,8% eind 2012, en de afgelopen paar jaar is er nauwelijks sprake geweest van reële loongroei. Het gemiddelde huishoudinkomen in de VS ligt nog steeds beneden het niveau van 2007 – feitelijk dichtbij het niveau van twintig jaar geleden – en grofweg 90% van alle inkomenswinst in de VS in de periode na de crisis is ten goede gekomen aan de bovenste 1% van de huishoudens.

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