Wem die Stunde schlägt

Dieser Tage spricht der Vorsitzende des wirtschaftlichen Beraterstabs von Präsident Bush, Ben Bernanke, gern von einem „weltweiten Ersparnisüberschuss“, der überall zu erstaunlich niedrigen Realzinssätzen geführt hat. Das ist allerdings eine falsche Sicht der Dinge.

In Amerika gibt es ganz gewiss keinen Ersparnisüberschuss. Die Sparquote lag in den letzten Jahrzehnten auf einem erschreckend niedrigen Niveau. Die rücksichtlose Steuerpolitik der Bush-Administration drückte sie erneut nach unten. Durch die sinkenden Zinssätze in den letzten Jahren stiegen die Immobilienpreise, wodurch der amerikanische Mittelstand alle vorhandenen Mittel in Eigenheime steckte, wodurch die Sparquoten noch weiter fielen. In Amerika gibt es also ein Ersparnisdefizit und keinen Überschuss.

Und wie steht es mit dem Rest der Welt? Gäbe es einen globalen Ersparnisüberschuss, müsste man durch Strategien zur Ankurbelung der Sparquote in Amerika und zur Steigerung des Verbrauchs in Haushalten außerhalb der USA die Weltwirtschaft wieder ins Gleichgewicht bringen können. Die Weltwirtschaft leidet allerdings nicht an einem Ersparnisüberschuss, sondern an einem Investitionsdefizit.

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