Liegen wir mit der Inflationsbekämpfung richtig?

BERKELEY – Die Federal Reserve und andere Zentralbanken werden dieser Tage von zwei Seiten unter Druck gesetzt: Von links wird Druck auf sie ausgeübt, etwas zu tun, um die Nachfrage anzukurbeln und die globale Arbeitslosigkeit zu bekämpfen; von rechts wird Druck auf sie ausgeübt, die Nachfrage zu drosseln, um die Inflation im Zaum zu halten.

Diese Situation wird uns bald einigen Ärger bescheren, denn eine dieser beiden Diagnosen muss falsch sein. Wenn die Zentralbanken weltweit die Zinssätze erhöhen, obwohl die unzureichende globale Nachfrage das Hauptproblem ist, könnten sie eine Depression auslösen. Wenn sie die Zinssätze nicht anheben, obwohl die Inflation das Hauptproblem ist, könnte dies zu Preisspitzen führen, wodurch Inflationserwartungen aufkommen und sich eine hartnäckige Lohn-Preis-Spirale entwickelt, die nur mit einer späteren, tieferen Depression wieder gerade gebogen werden kann.

Dieses Mal hat meiner Ansicht nach die Linke Recht – bezogen auf das nachindustrielle nordatlantische Zentrum der Weltwirtschaft. Die tatsächliche Inflationsrate ist der einzige Indikator dafür, dass die steigende Inflation ein Problem oder überhaupt real ist. Der Index der US-Beschäftigungskosten (American Employment Cost) und andere Indikatoren des nominellen Lohnwachstums in den Industrieländern zeigen keine beschleunigte Veränderung. Zudem zeigen auch die Messungen der „Kerninflation“ keine Anzeichen einer Inflationsbeschleunigung.

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