Zentralbankchefs bekommen Bodenkontakt

NEU-DELHI – Nach der Andeutung der US-Notenbank, dass sie gegen Ende des Jahres ihre Anleihenkäufe verringern könnte, sind die Märkte wieder einmal in Aufruhr. Die Intensität der Marktreaktion war überraschend, zumal allgemein bekannt ist, wie die quantitative Lockerung der Fed funktioniert. Und schließlich hat die Fed umsichtig darauf hingewiesen, dass sie ihre Nullzinspolitik beibehalten und ihre Anleihenbestände nicht verkaufen wird.

Die vorherrschende Theorie zur Funktionsweise der quantitativen Lockerung ist der Portfolio-Balance-Ansatz. Die Fed kauft langfristige US-Schatzanleihen aus den Portfolios privater Investoren und hofft im Wesentlichen darauf, dass diese Investoren ihre Portfolios wieder ausgleichen. Da eine riskante Anlage weggefallen ist und durch sichere Zentralbankreserven ersetzt wurde, wird der ungestillte Risikoappetit der Investoren wachsen; der Preis aller riskanten Anlagen (darunter auch langfristige Schatzanleihen, die sich immer noch in privatem Besitz befinden) wird steigen, und die Erträge von Anleihen werden fallen.

Ein zentraler Bestandteil dieser Theorie ist, dass der Bestand an Anleihen, den die Fed aus den privaten Portfolios abgezogen hat, den Risikoappetit der Investoren bestimmt – und nicht der Fluss der Fed-Käufe. Die Nachricht über eine Verringerung der Fed-Käufe hätte sich nur geringfügig auf die Erwartungen der Investoren auswirken sollen, wie groß der Anleihenbestand der Fed letztendlich sein würde, es sei denn, die Investoren dachten, die Fed würde für immer Anleihen kaufen. Warum also haben die Märkte weltweit so heftig reagiert?

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