Der Horror­film der Noten­banken

John Plender gehört zu meinen Lieblingsautoren der FINANCIAL TIMES (FT). Klar, vermutlich, weil er meiner Meinung ist. So auch bei der Horrorgeschichte der Notenbanken:

  • Equities, bonds, long-dated index-linked gilts, credit, crypto — the list of market horror stories in 2022 is extensive. Yet the biggest casualty this year was surely the reputation of big central banks. (…) their inflation forecasting has been dismally off-beam. Their response to the rapidly rising price level was slow and, in the notable case of the US Federal Reserve, initially timorous.“ – bto: Aber sie machen schon viel länger Fehler.
  • „(…) it is clear that the supply shocks and inflation arising from factors such as deglobalisation will bring about a lasting reduction in potential output. In such circumstances, it is the job of monetary policymakers to tighten so demand is brought in to line with reduced productive capacity. One of the lessons of the cost-push inflation of the 1970s after the first oil price rise was that supply-side shocks can also, in central banker jargon, de-anchor inflation expectations and produce second-round effects in labour markets.“ – bto: Wir werden es gerade in Europa in den kommenden Jahren erleben: eine auch politisch stark betriebene Nachfrage – Klima – bei gleichzeitig rückläufigem Angebot.
  • The outcome of all this is that central banks have lost authority. At the same time, their belated policy tightening is damaging their own balance sheets because rising yields are inflicting big mark-to-market losses on the huge bond portfolios acquired since the financial crisis of 2007-09. Not all central banks will report these losses — there is considerable variation in reporting practice. Many will argue they are not profit-maximising institutions and can operate perfectly well with negative equity. They cannot go bust because they can print money.“ – bto: Das haben wir im Podcast bereits diskutiert. Die Notenbanken laufen aber Gefahr, Vertrauen zu verlieren und damit das gesamte System zu ruinieren.
  • Yet there can be a tipping point where markets fear that financial weakness will lead to high or hyperinflation. Turning to finance ministries for capital could reduce what independence central banks retain since the financial crisis.“ – bto: Die Unabhängigkeit der EZB halte ich für eine Illusion. Sie ist politisch dominiert.
  • Such is the uncertainty surrounding the condition of advanced economies that there is a risk of both monetary overkill and underkill. A move into recession in 2023 could expose financial fragilities arising from the long period of ultra-low interest rates in which investors searched for yield regardless of risk.“ – bto: Das betrifft vor allem Venture Capital, Private Equity und Technologiefirmen.
  • „(…) there are big and very untransparent off-balance sheet risks in both the bank and the non-bank financial sectors, notably in relation to dollar debt in foreign exchange swaps, forwards and currency swaps. In a paper for the Bank for International Settlements, Claudio Borio, Robert McCauley and Patrick McGuire point out that $85tn in outstanding obligations to pay dollars in these instruments exceeds the stock of dollar Treasury bills, repurchase agreements and commercial paper combined.“ – bto: Das bedeutet, dass es im Ernstfall an Sicherheiten mangelt.
  • The obligations, which have risen sharply since the financial crisis, are mostly very short term and often involve maturity mismatches in institutions such as insurers and pension funds. The resulting rollover needs make for dollar funding squeezes, as happened in the financial crisis and in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. These dollar payment obligations do not appear on balance sheets and are missing in standard debt statistics. The scope for trouble here is obvious.“ – bto: … weshalb dann die Notenbanken wieder „retten“ müssen.
  • Such a U-turn would amount to central bank revisionism of a high order; in effect a return to morally hazardous asymmetric monetary policy. The worrying thing is that it is all too plausible.“ – bto: Die Folge ist: mehr Inflation. (Anmeldung erforderlich): „The central bank horror story“, 24. Dezember 2022