Dem Euro die Flügel stutzen

Der Ruf des französischen Präsidenten Nicolas Sarkozy nach einer Intervention der Europäischen Zentralbank zur Drosselung des Höhenflugs des Euro wird allgemein als Zeichen mangelnden Verständnisses und Vertrauens in die Märkte gewertet. Tatsächlich betrachten manche Sarkozy inzwischen als traditionellen Gaullisten, der durch eine künstliche Euro-Abwertung den französischen Produzenten helfen will.

Doch könnte Sarkozy Recht haben, wenn er glaubt, dass die Devisenmärkte die Wechselkurse nicht automatisch auf einen Stand schieben, die mit den Grundlagen des internationalen Handels im Einklang stehen? Schließlich werden vergleichbare Güter international häufig zu sehr unterschiedlichen Preisen verkauft. So kostet laut der Zeitschrift The Economist ein Big Mac in der Eurozone etwa drei Euro – zum gegenwärtigen Wechselkurs etwa vier Dollar. In den USA sind es nur etwa drei Dollar und 20 Cent, was impliziert, dass der Euro um etwa 25% überbewertet ist.

Die letzten drei Jahrzehnte frei gehandelter Währungen haben gezeigt, dass marktbestimmte Wechselkurse dazu neigen, deutlich und beharrlich von ihren Paritätsniveaus – die dazu führen würden, dass vergleichbare Güter in unterschiedlichen Ländern zu vergleichbaren Preisen verkauft werden – abzuweichen. Vielleicht also haben Politiker wie Sarkozy Grund dazu, zur Begrenzung derartiger Schwankungen Interventionen der Zentralbanken zu fordern.

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