Lemminge der quantitativen Lockerung

NEW HAVEN – Wie vorhersehbar, hat die Europäische Zentralbank sich nun den anderen wichtigen weltweiten Notenbanken beim größten Experiment in der Geschichte der Zentralbanken angeschlossen. Inzwischen ist das Verlaufsmuster nur zu gut bekannt. Als Erstes senken die Zentralbanken den üblichen Leitzins auf die gefürchtete „Nullgrenze“. Wenn ihnen dann ihnen die herkömmlichen Instrumente ausgehen, verfallen sie angesichts der anhaltenden wirtschaftlichen Schwäche auf den unkonventionellen Ansatz der quantitativen Lockerung.

Die dieser Strategie zugrundeliegende Theorie ist simpel: Da sie den Kreditpreis nicht weiter senken können, verlagern die Zentralbanken ihren Fokus auf eine Ausweitung der Kreditmenge. Das stillschweigende Argument dabei ist, dass der Schritt von der Preis- zur Mengenanpassung das funktionale Äquivalent einer zusätzlichen geldpolitischen Lockerung sei; die Zentralbanken hätten also trotz erreichter Nullgrenze noch immer Waffen in ihrem Arsenal.

Aber sind diese Waffen der Aufgabe gewachsen? Für die EZB und die Bank von Japan, die sich beide jeweils enormen Risiken in Bezug auf ihre Volkswirtschaft und ihr Gesamtpreisniveau ausgesetzt sehen, ist dies beileibe keine müßige Frage. Für die USA, wo die letztlichen Folgen der quantitativen Lockerung abzuwarten bleiben, ist die Antwort genauso folgenschwer.

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