Germany's surplus Thomas Lohn/AFP/Getty Images

Wie man Deutschlands Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse reduzieren kann

MÜNCHEN – Der Economist hat Recht, wenn er sagt, dass Deutschland einen zu großen Leistungsbilanzüberschuss hat. Aber warum ist er zu groß? Einige sagen, Deutschland exportiere so viel, weil es sehr gute Waren hat. Andere betonen, dass Deutschland zu wenig importiert, weil die Löhne zu niedrig seien. Wieder andere weisen darauf hin, dass ein Leistungsbilanzüberschuss definitorisch dem Kapitalexport des Landes und damit dem Überhang der Ersparnisse über die Investitionen gleicht. Sie fordern Deutschland auf, weniger zu sparen oder mehr zu investieren.

Der deutsche Leistungsbilanzüberschuss hat sein Spiegelbild freilich in den Defiziten anderer Länder, insbesondere der USA, auf die ein Drittel aller weltweiten Leistungsbilanzdefizite entfallen. Die Defizit-Länder könnte man mit gleichem Recht auffordern, wettbewerbsfähiger zu werden, ihre Löhne zu senken, mehr zu sparen oder weniger zu investieren. Ähnliches könnte man von den im Ausland hoch verschuldeten Ländern Südeuropas verlangen, die zwar heute wegen der niedrigen Zinsen annähernd ausgeglichene Leistungsbilanzen haben, doch nun eigentlich Überschüsse bräuchten, um Ihre Schulden zurückzuzahlen. Um zu entscheiden, was geschehen sollte, muss man die Ursachen der Überschüsse dingfest machen.

Eine der Hauptursachen liegt in der extremen Verschuldung und fehlenden Haushaltsdisziplin des US-Bundesstaates, in der lockeren Geldpolitik der Fed, die die Konjunktur künstlich aufrecht erhält, sowie in den vielen Konsumentenkrediten und haftungsbeschränkten Hauskrediten, auf denen die US-Ökonomie basiert. In Verbindung mit der Kreditwürdigkeit, die vom Dollar als Leitwährung herrührte, hat dies den USA ein Leben über die Verhältnisse ermöglicht.

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