Die Dollarkriege kehren zurück

Angesichts ungewisser Wiederwahlaussichten und Besorgnis erregender Arbeitsplatzverluste begann US-Präsident George W. Bush anderen Ländern dafür die Schuld zu geben. So schickte er seinen Finanzminister mit der Forderung auf die Reise, andere Länder mögen ihre Wechselkurse erhöhen, damit ausländische Güter für amerikanische Verbraucher teurer werden. Das war John Snows Auftrag auf seiner jüngsten Reise nach China, aber solche Forderungen sind nicht neu. Zwei seiner Amtsvorgänger, John Connally und James Baker, verfolgten ebenfalls eine Strategie der politisch erwünschten Wechselkurse.

Snows Ansinnen an China ist eigentlich sonderbar: Normalerweise gehen wir ja nicht in einen Laden und bitten den Inhaber seine Preise zu erhöhen. Aber neue starke Währungen führen immer wieder zu Versuchen, die Wechselkurse für politische Zwecke einzuspannen.

Wie auch in der Zwischenkriegszeit gab es bis zwanzig Jahre nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg nur zwei bedeutende internationale Währungen: das britische Pfund und den amerikanischen Dollar. Am Ende der sechziger Jahre des vorigen Jahrhunderts war das Pfund so schwach, dass die internationalen Märkte ihr Interesse daran verloren. Stattdessen rückten zwei andere Währungen in den Mittelpunkt der Aufmerksamkeit, nachdem die starken Volkswirtschaften Japans und (West-) Deutschlands riesige Handelsbilanzüberschüsse produzierten.

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