Inflationsangst

PRINCETON – Können Zentralbanken die Inflation eindämmen? Einst dachten wir, sie könnten es. In den letzten 20 Jahren verfolgten Zentralbanken weltweit, auch die amerikanische Federal Reserve, mit bemerkenswertem Erfolg eine Politik der Preisstabilität. Aber nun, im Gefolge der Finanzkrise, wird die Welt von einer Welle des Misstrauens erfasst  – und auch von einer neuen und weit verbreiteten Angst, dass Zentralbanken nicht in der Lage seien, die Inflation zu kontrollieren.

In den USA fordert die Tea Party die Rückkehr zum Goldstandard und in Utah diskutiert man, Gold- und Silbermünzen als gesetzliches Zahlungsmittel einzuführen. Die Inflationssorgen in Deutschland drängten die Regierung zu einer viel strikteren Haltung im Hinblick auf die Entschuldung in Europa. In China löst die Angst vor Inflation breiten Unmut aus.

Diese Inflationsangst bestand schon, bevor die neuen Herausforderungen des Jahres 2011 Fragen über langfristige Energiepreise aufwarfen. Nun, da die autoritären arabischen Regimes von Demonstrationen der Demokratiebefürworter erschüttert werden, ist eine noch immer von Öl abhängige Weltwirtschaft von der Aussicht auf lang anhaltende Konflikte in der Region bedroht, während im Gefolge des Erdbebens und des Atomunfalls in Japan Zweifel an der Sicherheit der Atomenergie wachsen.

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