USA: teures Gratismittagessen

BRÜSSEL: Seit Jahrzehnten stöhnt die Welt, die Rolle des Dollars als globale Reservewährung verschaffe den USA – um eine Formulierung zu nutzen, die gewöhnlich Charles de Gaulle zugeschrieben wird, aber tatsächlich von seinem Finanzminister, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, stammt – ein „exorbitantes Privileg“. Solange das Bretton-Woods-System fester Wechselkurse bestand, war die Beschaffenheit dieses Privilegs klar: Die USA waren das einzige Land, das seine Geldpolitik frei bestimmen konnte. Alle anderen hatten sich der von den USA diktierten Politik anzupassen.

Die änderte sich mit der Einführung flexibler Wechselkurse Anfang der 1970er Jahre, die es stabilitätsbewussteren Ländern wie etwa Deutschland gestatteten, sich von der ihrer Ansicht nach zu inflationären US-Geldpolitik abzukoppeln. Doch selbst bei flexiblen Wechselkursen blieb den USA ein Vorteil: Da der Dollar die wichtigste globale Reservewährung blieb, konnten die USA große Zahlungsbilanzdefizite zu sehr günstigen Zinsen finanzieren.

Nach heute kann das US-Finanzministerium unbegrenzte Beträge zu extrem niedrigen Zinsen borgen. Tatsächlich liegen die Zinsen inflationsgeschützter Staatsanleihen inzwischen bei -0,5%, und zwar selbst für eine Laufzeit von fünf Jahren! Die US-Regierung wird also de facto dafür bezahlt, dass sie das Geld der Anleger entgegennimmt – ein großzügiges Angebot, dass sie im enormen Umfang annimmt, in der Hoffnung, dass die Kanalisierung dieser Gelder hin zu den amerikanischen Verbrauchern die Ausgabefreudigkeit der Haushalte erhöhen und so mehr Arbeitsplätze schaffen wird.

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