Mario Draghi ECB/Flickr

Das Placebo der „quantitativen Lockerung“

BRÜSSEL – Es ist fast ein halbes Jahr her, seit die Europäische Zentralbank ihre Absicht erklärte, Staatsanleihen der Eurozone im Wert von rund 1,1 Billionen Euro aufzukaufen. Als die Bank im Januar das sogenannte „erweiterte Programm zum Ankauf von Vermögenswerten“ (EAPP) ankündigte, betonte sie, dass es sich dabei nur um eine Ausweitung eines bestehenden Programms handele, in dessen Rahmen sie bereits bescheidene Mengen von Anleihen des privaten Sektors angekauft hatte, um Staatspapiere zu decken. Aber diese Vorspiegelung von Kontinuität war reine Heuchelei.

In Wahrheit überschritt die EZB mit dem Ankauf großer Mengen an Staatsanleihen den Rubikon; schließlich ist es ihr ausdrücklich untersagt, Regierungen zu finanzieren. Die Verteidigung der EZB bestand in der Aussage, dass das Programm der einzige Weg sei, um die Inflation enger dem Zielwert von rund 2% anzunähern. Zudem, so die Bank, folge sie lediglich dem Beispiel anderer bedeutender Notenbanken, darunter der Bank von England, der Bank von Japan und insbesondere der US Federal Reserve, deren Programm der quantitativen Lockerung den Ankauf von langfristigen Wertpapieren im Umfang von mehr als zwei Billionen Dollar zwischen 2008 und 2012 beinhaltet hatte.

Abgesehen von der rechtlichen Unsicherheit hängt es letztlich von ihrer Wirkung ab, ob die Entscheidung der EZB, eine quantitative Lockerung zu betreiben, gerechtfertigt war. Aber auch nach sechs Monaten sind die Folgen weiterhin schwer einzuschätzen.

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