Der Zins­an­stieg schmerzt (schon)

Die Inflationserwartungen gehen hoch, die Zinsen ziehen an. Fragt sich, ob das hoch verschuldete System nicht schon beim geringsten Zinsanstieg in Probleme gerät. Der Telegraph sieht die Risiken vor allem außerhalb der USA:

  • “The sudden repricing of dollar borrowing costs is sending shock waves through debt markets in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, rapidly tightening conditions in regions that are still in economic distress. ‘We are already seeing undesirable contagion, said Fabio Panetta, a member of the European Central Bank’s executive board. Yields on 10-year US Treasuries spiked to a one-year high of 1.61pc on Friday (…).” – bto: Doch man muss sich vor Augen halten, wie billig Geld immer noch ist! Das zeigt, wie sehr die Märkte zur Perfektion bepreist sind.
  • “Contrary to widespread belief, the latest jump has little to do with inflation jitters. Jim Reid from Deutsche Bank said the damage has been in real yields, which is more disturbing. The benchmark 10-year real rate jumped 13.5 basis points in intraday trading on Friday. This is a sobering move for what is in effect the global benchmark price of money. Pain thresholds are low in a world of record debt ratios (355pc of GDP). It takes a smaller rise in rates than ever before to rattle stock markets and the broader universe of risk assets.” – bto: Das ist nichts Neues, nur dass der Zins, ab dem es brenzlig wird, immer tiefer liegt – und zwar seit Jahrzehnten.
  • Markets (…) are instead choking on the sheer volume of debt US issuance as the Biden administration pushed through most of its $1.9 trillion relief package, on top of the $900bn Christmas package.The Fed covered the US Treasury’s entire needs at the start of the pandemic. Its current $80bn pace of QE bond purchases each month covers less than half and is no longer enough to mask the problem.“ – bto: Ist es also nur ein Problem von Angebot und Nachfrage? Nach der MMT-Logik gibt es das Problem jedoch gar nicht, weil die Verschuldung das Geld dafür selber schafft.
  • It tightens conditions before recovery is safely under way and raises the cost of financing (bto: nicht nur in den USA, sondern auch anderswo wie in Großbritannien) It is the same story in the eurozone. Ten-year Spanish yields have risen 30 points since December even though the country is in deflation and dire straits. Rising US real rates are sucking funds away from Europe and pushing up borrowing costs for everybody long before higher rates are justified by recovery.“ – bto: Nun ist es ja nicht so, als würden in Europa die Schulden nicht auch steigen. Aber die Logik ist – wie gesagt – nicht ganz konform mit MMT. Denn natürlich schafft die neue Staatsverschuldung entsprechend mehr Zentralbankgeld, aber wenn die Banken und andere diese Anleihen kaufen, dann haben sie eine Präferenz der Asset-Allokation, die sich indirekt auswirkt.
  • „(…) the “output gap” is 10pc of GDP in Spain and Italy, and 8pc for the eurozone. This is a far cry from the US where pandemic damage is lighter and the recovery is coming sooner thanks to fast vaccination. Europe is a sitting duck. There is no Bidenesque mega-stimulus. The EU’s €750bn Recovery Fund is stretched over six years and almost half comes as loans that largely displace planned borrowing. Several countries are opting for fiscal contraction this year.“ – bto: Das ist eine erstaunliche Aussage. Ich denke, dass es nicht so kommen wird.
  • Europe may muddle through if it vaccinates fast enough to suppress the third wave of Covid to avoid a fresh lockdown, a disaster that would delay recovery by a quarter. (…) Europe’s leaders are resisting calls from scientists for tougher measures, afraid that civic consent is breaking down and that economic damage will metastasise. They risk being caught in destructive indecision, neither open nor closed, doomed by a stubborn death toll to stop-go policies and half measures until early summer.“ – bto: Das  charakterisiere ich wiederum als ein Versagen des Staates.
  • The ECB’s Fabio Panetta said the region must not repeat the post-Lehman lost decade, left behind in a low-growth trap of labour hysteresis, rolling insolvencies, and corrosively-low inflation as far as the eye can see. He (…) said the risks of doing too little far outweigh the risks of doing too much, insisting that the ECB “should not hesitate” to step up the pace of its pandemic bond purchases. The question is whether German-led hawks on the governing council are willing to sanction QE for much longer.“ – bto: Ich denke, dass das keine ernsthafte Frage ist. Die Deutschen haben nichts zu sagen in diesem Kontext. Und sie werden auch stillschweigend damit einverstanden sein.
  • The ECB’s balance sheet is already 71pc of GDP, double the Fed’s levels. The further it goes down this path, the more likely that the national central banks in the ECB system will be rendered technically insolvent once eurozone bonds rise in earnest. It is a political minefield.“ – bto: Das ist aber auch nur Theorie. Zum einen wissen wir, dass alles getan werden wird, um einen Anstieg der Zinsen zu verhindern. Zum anderen müssen Zentralbanken nicht bilanzieren wie normale Unternehmen.
  • Bond contagion is just as bad for a string of emerging market economies. (…) Emerging market countries account for a third of the $12 trillion of offshore dollar debt. The liabilities are priced off five-year US yields or shorter maturities, but vulnerable to a global dollar squeeze either way. These countries and their firms are far from immune even when they borrow in their own currency. The jump in 10-year yields this year so far has been: Brazil (150 basis points), Turkey (140), Mexico (120), Peru (110), the Philippines (100), Egypt (80), Russia (75), Indonesia (70). South Africa (65), and India (40). Each is a different story but they are all being hit by an imported shock whether their economies are ready or not.“ – bto: Diese Artikel gibt es immer wieder. Warum? Weil wir weltweit immer höhere Schulden haben, die nur bei immer tieferen Zinsen tragbar sind. Dies ist also ein wiederkehrendes Theater, das letztlich dazu dient, den Zinsanstieg dann zu verhindern.
  • If Mr Powell lets bond yields keep rising, there could be a lot of broken crockery across the world. If he reverts to QE for longer to placate markets, he would struggle to justify the move given the scale of US budget spending. Bond vigilantes might see it as a cynical move to monetise the deficit, the start of a slippery slope towards Argentine debasement. The markets would push up long-dated yields even further. Mr Powell is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.“ – bto. Deshalb reden wir über Zinskurven-Kontrolle und über Kapitalverkehrskontrollen.
  • We are in a brave new world where the international system is more leveraged than ever before to the US dollar and US borrowing costs, but less leveraged than before to the macro-economic benefits from a booming America.“ – bto: eine klare Schlussfolgerung. Wir profitieren nicht so viel vom Aufschwung in den USA, aber steigende Zinsen treffen alle. (Anmeldung erforderlich): “US bond contagion is becoming painful for half the world”, 5. März 2021