Ist Inflation die Antwort?

CHICAGO – In letzter Zeit haben eine Reihe von Kommentatoren einen starken, aber kontrollierten Inflationsanstieg als Möglichkeit des Schuldenabbaus sowie der Neubelebung des Wachstums in den Vereinigten Staaten und anderen Industrieländern vorgeschlagen. Ist das eine gute Idee?

Um zu begreifen, wie diese Behandlung funktioniert, muss man zuerst einmal die Diagnose verstehen. Wie Carmen Reinhart und Kenneth Rogoff ausführen, gestalten sich Erholungsphasen nach Krisen aufgrund übermäßig fremdfinanzierter Bilanzen typischerweise langsam und resistent gegen herkömmliche makroökonomische Stimulierung. Überschuldete Haushalte können nichts ausgeben, überschuldete Banken können kein Geld verleihen und überschuldete Staaten können keine Konjunkturprogramme durchführen.

Warum also, so das Rezept, nicht eine zeitweilig höhere Inflation erzeugen? Das würde Fixed-Income-Investoren überraschen, die sich in der Vergangenheit bereit erklärten, langfristig zu niedrigen Zinsen Geld zu verleihen; es würde den realen Wert der Schulden senken, den „Schuldenüberhang“ beseitigen und damit das Wachstum ankurbeln. 

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