Die Machtlosigkeit der US-Notenbank

CAMBRIDGE – Die jüngste Ankündigung der US-Notenbank Federal Reserve, dass sie ihre „Operation Twist“ durch den Kauf weiterer langfristiger US-Staatspapiere in Wert von 267 Milliarden Dollar in den kommenden sechs Monaten verlängern – und damit in diesem Jahr ein Gesamtvolumen solcher Käufe von  667 Milliarden US-Dollar erreichen wird – hatte praktisch keine Auswirkungen auf die Zinssätze oder Aktienkurse. Die zurückhaltende Reaktion des Marktes war ein wichtiger Indikator, dass geldpolitische Lockerung kein nützliches Instrument mehr ist, um die Wirtschaftstätigkeit zu erweitern.

Die Fed hat wiederholt betont, dass sie ihr Möglichstes tun wird, um das Wachstum anzukurbeln. So ist der Plan entstanden, die kurzfristigen Zinsen bis Ende 2014 nahe null zu belassen, sowie massiv quantitative Lockerung zu betreiben, gefolgt von Operation Twist, bei der die US-Notenbank kurzfristige US-Staatsanleihen durch Papiere mit langer Laufzeit austauscht.

Mit diesen Maßnahmen ist es gelungen, die langfristigen Zinssätze zu senken. Die Rendite zehnjähriger US-Staatsanleihen beträgt derzeit 1,6%, gegenüber 3,4% Anfang des Jahres 2011. Es ist zwar schwierig festzustellen, inwieweit dieser Rückgang die höhere Nachfrage nach US-Staatspapieren durch risikoscheue globale Investoren reflektiert, doch zum Teil ist er zweifellos den Maßnahmen der US-Notenbank zuzuschreiben. Die niedrigeren langfristigen Zinssätze haben zum geringfügigen Zuwachs des Standard & Poor’s 500-Kursindex in Höhe von 4% im gleichen Zeitraum beigetragen.

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