Blasen in der Suppe

NEW YORK – Die meisten hoch entwickelten Volkswirtschaften leiden nach wie vor unter einem hinter dem Trend zurückbleibenden BIP-Wachstum und hoher Arbeitslosigkeit; daher haben sich ihre Zentralbanken auf eine zunehmend unkonventionelle Geldpolitik verlegt. Sie haben uns eine Buchstabensuppe von Maßnahmen serviert: ZIRP (Nullzinspolitik), QE (quantitative Lockerung: der Ankauf von Staatsanleihen zur Verringerung der langfristigen Zinsen angesichts kurzfristiger Leitzinsen von null), CE (Kreditlockerung: Ankauf privater Vermögenswerte mit dem Ziel, die Kapitalkosten des privaten Sektors zu senken) und FG (Forward Guidance: die Zusage, QE bzw. ZIRP aufrechtzuerhalten, bis etwa die Arbeitslosenquote einen bestimmten Zielwert erreicht). Manche sind so weit gegangen, eine NIPR (Negativzinspolitik) vorzuschlagen.

All dem zum Trotz verharren die Wachstumsraten bisher hartnäckig auf niedrigem Niveau, und die Arbeitslosenquoten bleiben inakzeptabel hoch, u.a. weil die Zunahme der Geldmenge im Gefolge der QE nicht zu einer Kreditschöpfung zur Finanzierung von privatem Konsum oder Investitionen geführt hat. Stattdessen haben die Banken das zusätzliche Geld in Form von Reserveüberschüssen gebunkert. Es besteht eine Kreditverknappung, da Banken mit unzureichendem Eigenkapital keine Kredite an risikobehaftete Kreditnehmer vergeben wollen, während das niedrige Wachstum und das hohe Schuldenniveau der privaten Haushalte zugleich auf die Kreditnachfrage drücken.

Infolgedessen fließt all diese überschüssige Liquidität in den Finanzsektor statt in die Realwirtschaft. Leitzinsen von nahezu null ermutigen zu sogenannten „Carry Trades“ – schuldenfinanzierten Investitionen in ertragsstärkere riskante Anlagen wie längerfristige Staats- und Privatanleihen, Aktien, Rohstoffe und Währungen von Ländern mit hohen Zinssätzen. Das Ergebnis: überhitzte Finanzmärkte, auf denen sich letztlich Blasen bilden könnten.

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