Tim Brinton

Die tödliche Schuldenfalle

NEW YORK – Das griechische Finanzdrama ist nur die Spitze eines Eisbergs an Problemen hinsichtlich einer noch tragbaren Schuldenlast, mit der nicht nur die so genannten PIIGS-Staaten (Portugal, Italien, Irland, Griechenland und Spanien) zu kämpfen haben, sondern auch viele entwickelte Ökonomien. Tatsächlich geht die OECD in ihren Schätzungen davon aus, dass die Staatsschuldenquoten in Industrieländern durchschnittlich auf etwa 100 % des BIP ansteigen werden. Der Internationale Währungsfonds hat jüngst ähnliche Schätzungen veröffentlicht.

In den PIIGS-Ländern erweisen sich aber nicht nur exzessive Defizite und Schuldenquoten (in jeweils verschiedenen Graden und Ausprägungen) als Problem. Man hat es auch mit externen Defiziten, einem Verlust der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit und daraus folgendem anämischen Wachstum zu tun.

Diese Ökonomien haben aufgrund ihrer arbeitsintensiven und für wenig Wertschöpfung sorgenden Exporte schon vor einem Jahrzehnt Marktanteile an China und Asien verloren. Nach einem Jahrzehnt, in dem die Löhne schneller stiegen als die Produktivität, erhöhten sich die Lohnstückkosten (und die auf diesen Kosten basierenden Wechselkurse) drastisch. Der folgende Verlust der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit manifestierte sich in riesigen und weiter wachsenden Leistungsbilanzdefiziten und langsamem Wachstum. Der letzte Sargnagel war dann noch die Aufwertung des Euro zwischen 2002 und 2008.

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