Warum Kapital bergauf fließt

LONDON – Auf den ersten Blick scheint es schwer begreiflich: das globale Kapital fließt von den armen in die reichen Länder. Während die Schwellenländer über Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse verfügen, weisen die Industrieländer Defizite aus. Eigentlich würde man erwarten, dass rasch wachsende, kapitalschwache Entwicklungsländer (mit junger Bevölkerung) Kapital aus dem Rest der Welt importieren, um Verbrauch und Investitionen zu finanzieren. Warum aber schicken sie ihr Kapital stattdessen in reichere Länder?

China ist so ein Beispiel. Mit einem durchschnittlichen Leistungsbilanzüberschuss von 5,5 Prozent des BIP in den Jahren 2000-2008 wurde China zu einem der größten Kreditgeber der Welt. Doch trotz seines raschen Wachstums und der vielversprechenden Investitionsmöglichkeiten transferiert das Land unentwegt einen beträchtlichen Teil seiner Ersparnisse ins Ausland.  

Und China steht nicht allein da. Auch andere Schwellenländer – wie Brasilien, Russland, Indien, Mexiko, Argentinien, Thailand, Indonesien, Malaysia und die Ölexporteure im Nahen und Mittleren Osten – haben ihre Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse seit den frühen 1990er Jahren beträchtlich gesteigert. Insgesamt leihen kapitalschwache Entwicklungsländer Geld an kapitalreiche Industrieländer.

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