Der amerikanische Weg der Verschuldung

Nach nahezu 15 Jahren beispiellosen Wachstums - unterbrochen nur durch eine kurze Abschwächung in den Jahren 2000-2001 - haben die Vereinigten Staaten einen enormen Bestand an Auslandsverbindlichkeiten angehäuft, der 25% ihres BIP entspricht. Angesichts eines Leistungsbilanzdefizits, das inzwischen 5% des BIP übersteigt, wachsen die US-Auslandsschulden mit großer Geschwindigkeit weiter. Kein Land jedoch kann unbegrenzt Schulden machen - und was nicht unbegrenzt fortdauern kann, muss früher oder später enden.

Anfang 1985, als das Leistungsbilanzdefizit der USA 120 Milliarden Dollar erreichte (nach heutigen Preisen etwa ein Drittel seines gegenwärtigen Niveaus), hörte die übrige Welt auf, es zu finanzieren. Das Ergebnis war ein plötzlicher Kursverfall des Dollars, der gegenüber der DM um 50% abgewertet wurde. Europa sollte sich eine Neuauflage nicht wünschen.

Tatsächlich kann die Welt insgesamt sich ein Verschwinden des US-Leistungsbilanzdefizits nicht leisten - zumindest nicht kurzfristig. Ohne die US-Importe wäre es mit dem zaghaften Wachstum, das Europa im vergangenen Jahr erlebt hat, in kürzester Zeit vorbei.

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