Die EZB und ihre Kritiker

PARIS – In Nordeuropa, insbesondere in Deutschland, hat die Entscheidung der Europäischen Zentralbank, quantitative Erleichterungen (QE) durchzuführen, eine Lawine von Klagen losgetreten. Viele sind unbegründet oder gar sinnlos. Manche sind verwirrend. Andere geben spekulativen Gefahren mehr Gewicht als tatsächlichen. Und einige wenige zeigen echte Probleme auf, ignorieren aber mögliche Lösungen.

Der Kritik nach zu urteilen, könnte man denken, Nullinflation sei ein Segen. Träfe dies allerdings zu, hätten die Zentralbanken in aller Welt diese bereits seit langem angestrebt. Stattdessen definieren sie Preisstabilität als geringe, stabile, aber positive Inflation.

Der Grund dafür ist, dass Nullinflation drei überaus negative Folgen hat: Erstens höhlt sie die Effektivität der üblichen Geldpolitik aus (denn wenn die Zinssätze weit unter Null fallen, ziehen Anleger Bargeld von den Banken ab und legen es in ihre Tresore). Zweitens macht sie die relativen Löhne (beispielsweise diejenigen der Produktionsarbeiter gegenüber der Angestellten im Dienstleistungsbereich) starrer, da Lohnverträge üblicherweise unter Euro-Bedingungen abgeschlossen werden. Und drittens erhöht sie die Belastung durch Altschulden und macht den Ausstieg aus einer privaten oder öffentlichen Schuldenkrise noch schmerzhafter.

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