Die „Gierflation“ ist in aller Munde und wohl die beste Ausrede der Zuständigen, im Versuch die Unschuld zu beteuern. Doch was ist dran? Ich persönlich denke, wenn überhaupt, ist es meist ein statistischer Effekt, weil es nach dem FIFO-Prinzip funktioniert: First In – First Out. Wenn also Firmen die Preise erhöhen können und noch günstiger beschaffte Vorleistungen haben, müssen die Gewinnmargen temporär steigen. Möglich ist das Ganze ohnehin nur, wenn die Kunden genug Kaufkraft (= Geld) haben. Sonst gibt es keine Inflation, weil die Nachfrage an anderer Stelle sinkt.
Zu diesem Schluss muss man kommen, gerade auch, wenn man an Tim Congdon denkt, der im bto-Podcast im Sommer 2021 die Rückkehr der Inflation vorhersagte und im Mai 2022 vor einem konjunkturellen Absturz warnte. Das war zu früh – aber er bleibt bei seiner Meinung:
- „Monetary developments at present are almost the exact opposite of those in spring 2020, when central banks – in their response to the Covid pandemic – were taking actions that hugely boosted money growth. (…) Today the Covid pandemic lies in the past and central banks are taking actions to stop the danger of a few years of well above-target inflation. As a result, the quantity of money – broadly-defined – is falling in all of the United States of America, the Eurozone and the United Kingdom. As the money contractions coincide for the moment with still rather high inflation, real money balances are declining even more abruptly than nominal.“ – bto: Damit droht eine entsprechend harte Landung.
- „An association between squeezes in real money and balance-sheet strain, falling asset prices and recessions is a commonplace of business cycle commentary. However, early 2023 has been puzzling, in that employment has continued to rise in the USA, the Eurozone and the UK, and labour markets in these places remain plagued by staff shortages, recruitment difficulties and the like. The paradox can be explained partly by the overhang of excess money from the money explosions of 2020 and 2021…“ – bto: Es handelt sich also um einen nachlaufenden Effekt.
- „Our assessment is that the ratios of money to GDP will be similar by the end of this year to their 2019 value, but there is an important difference between now and then. Now the three relevant central banks have raised their policy rates towards 5%, whereas in 2019 these were all at 2% or less.“ – bto: Das ist dann restriktiver.
- „(…) broad money is a stronger, more reliable guide to the current and future behaviour of demand and output than the rate of interest. But I have no quarrel with two propositions, that its policy rate is any central bank’s major policy instrument, and interest rate movements have powerful effects on the economy. Anyhow, the current stance of monetary policy combines – in three leading economies – unusually intense withdrawal of real money balances and the sharpest jump in central bank policy rates for 40 or so years.“ – bto. Die finanziellen Konditionen haben sich deutlich verschlechtert.
- „Meaningful recessions will start in the leading Western economies in the second half of 2023. (The Eurozone is technically in a recession already.) How bad will they be? One influence will be the rate of money growth from here on. A warning needs to be given that officialdom (central banks and financial regulators, aided by finance ministries) seem intent on repeating past mistakes. Deluded by the notion that their job is to make sure banks won’t go bust (and so must have ever more capital, liquidity, etc.), officialdom is tightening – or threatening to tighten – bank regulation. Thus, on 5th June the Wall Street Journal said that the Fed and other regulators were considering an increase of 20% in US banks’ capital-to-risk-asset ratios. In the UK the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee has already raised banks’ counter-cyclical capital buffers on two occasions, with the second increase of 1% to take effect next month.“ – bto: Das verschlechtert die Kreditvergabe deutlich. Und bremst damit die Wirtschaft.
- „Apparently, central bankers, regulators etc. believe that the more highly capitalized banks are, the less likely are recessions. They need to be told a trio of simple truths, with their capital given, an increase in banks’ capital-to-risk-assets ratios causes banks to shrink risk assets (i.e., they pull in loans, sell securities and so on), the pulling-in of loans and the sale of securities to non-banks lead to a drop in credit and thedestruction of money balances, and the destruction of money balances is deflationary and makes a recession more likely, not less.“
- „These truths were demonstrated very clearly in the closing months of 2008 and in early 2009, when banks were told the contents of the new Basel III capital and liquidity regime. They have also been evident in the recent figures on money and credit in the UK. The banks have reacted to the increases in their capital buffers in just the way I have described. Specifically, bank loans to the private sector have fallen significantly since last autumn. The stock of so-called ‚M4x lending‘ (i.e., bank lending to the private sector, excluding ‚intermediate other financial corporations‘) was 2.9% lower in April than at the peak in September last year. The annualised rate of decline in the seven months to April was 4.9%. Lending to UK mainstream corporates is very weak, because it is more capital-intensive (under Basel III) than mortgage lending. Lending to the financial sector has crashed by about a quarter in the last year.“ – bto: Aber noch ist die Inflation sehr hoch.
- „(…) my verdict is that the coming recession could be bad, and that 2024 will see large falls in inflation and interest rates. The drop in interest rates – like that in late 2008 and early 2009 – may have to be enough to offset the deflationary impact of the tightening of bank regulation. Officialdom blundered in an inflationary direction in 2020 and 2021 – and the risk today is of it blundering in the opposite direction, of deflationary overkill.“ – bto: Wie gesagt, wenn man der Geldmengen-Theorie folgt, wäre das in der Tat die logische Konsequenz.
- „The heart of the problem is that the standard macro- models have no role for money in the determination of national expenditure and income. The models do not let changes in money growth affect inflation (or indeed anything). They are as bad as that.“ – bto: Das ist die Zusammenfassung.