Zentralbanker im Belagerungszustand

CHICAGO – Armer Ben Bernanke! Bei seinem Versuch die Wirtschaft geldpolitisch anzukurbeln, ist der US-Notenbankchef ist weiter gegangen als jeder andere Zentralbanker der jüngsten Zeit. Er hat die kurzfristigen Zinsen auf nahezu null gesenkt. Er hat innovative Methoden der geldpolitischen Lockerung eingesetzt. Er hat wieder und wieder betont, dass seine größte Sorge der hohen Arbeitslosigkeit in den USA gilt − sofern der Inflationsdruck gedämpft bleibt. Und trotzdem werfen ihm progressive Ökonomen vor, dass er zu wenig unternimmt.

Was wollen sie denn noch? Sie sagen, wenn man das Inflationsziel erhöht, wird alles gut. Für die US-Notenbank würde das natürlich eine radikale Abkehr vom bisherigen Kurs bedeuten. Sie hat hart daran gearbeitet, die Öffentlichkeit davon zu überzeugen, dass sie die Inflation bei etwa 2% halten wird und diese Glaubwürdigkeit hat es der US-Notenbank ermöglicht, aggressiv zu agieren: Es ist schwer vorstellbar, dass sie ihre Bilanzen in dem Maß hätte ausweiten können, wie sie es getan hat, wenn die Öffentlichkeit gedacht hätte, dass man sich im Hinblick auf die Inflation nicht auf sie verlassen kann. Warum also wollen diese Ökonomen, dass die US-Notenbank ihre mühsam errungenen Erfolge opfert?

Die Antwort liegt in ihrer Auffassung der Hautpursache für die anhaltend hohe Arbeitslosigkeit: zu hohe Realzinsen. Ihre Logik ist einfach. Vor Ausbruch der Finanzkrise im Jahr 2008 haben Verbraucher hohe Hypothekenkredite aufgenommen und so die Nachfrage in den USA aufrechterhalten. Heute können diese hochverschuldeten Haushalte weder Kredite aufnehmen, noch Geld ausgeben.

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