China and US US State Dept/Flickr

Chinas Fallgrube für Amerikas Denkansatz

NEW HAVEN – Den Versuchungen der Extrapolation ist schwer zu widerstehen. Der Trend übt einen machtvollen Einfluss auf Märkte, politische Entscheidungsträger, Haushalte und Unternehmen aus. Scharfsichtige Beobachter freilich sind sich der Grenzen linearen Denkens bewusst, weil sie wissen, dass sich derartige Linien verbiegen oder manchmal sogar abreißen. Dies ist heute bei der Bewertung zweier zentraler Faktoren der Fall, die die Weltwirtschaft mitgestalten: den mit Amerikas strategischem Ansatz und dem Zustand der chinesischen Wirtschaft verbundenen Risiken.

Die quantitative Lockerung oder QE (das Programm der Federal Reserve für den monatlichen Ankauf langfristiger Wertpapiere) begann als ein nobles Unterfangen – zur rechten Zeit und gut vermittelt als verzweifeltes Mittel der Fed zur Bekämpfung einer schmerzlichen Krise. Überlegungen von der Art: „Was wäre geworden, wenn …“ sind immer schwierig, doch lässt sich schwer argumentieren, dass die Liquiditätsspritzen Ende 2008 und Anfang 2009 keine wichtige Rolle dabei gespielt haben, die Welt vor etwas viel Schlimmeren als der Großen Rezession zu bewahren.

Die Kombination aus produktspezifischen Finanzierungsinstrumenten und der ersten Runde der quantitativen Lockerung führte zu einer steilen Ausweitung der Bilanz der Fed auf 2,3 Billionen Dollar bis März 2009; vor Beginn der Krise im Sommer 2008 waren es 900 Milliarden gewesen. Und die krisenverheerten, eingefrorenen Märkte tauten auf.

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