Die Zin­sen müssen runter – wegen der Staats­finanzen

Zinssenkung? Nun, bis vor zwei Wochen hätte ich noch gedacht, dass es länger dauert, aber die Risiken, die sich aus dem Krieg in Israel ergeben, sind erheblich. Aber natürlich auch die Risiken an den Finanzmärkten. Der Telegraph fasst das Bekannte ganz gut zusammen:

  • The US economic expansion is being kept afloat only by extreme fiscal stimulus and war-time deficits, an astonishing state of affairs at the top of the cycle. The federal government is unable to fund this scale of borrowing from US domestic savings, and global creditors are no longer willing to fund it either at bearable cost.“ – bto: In der Tat muss man sich fragen, wie die Defizite finanziert werden sollen.
  • Real rates are rocketing, driven by a sudden jump in the ‚term premium‘. Think of it as a credit crunch being imposed upon a feckless political class in Washington by global bond vigilantes. A very slow-burning fuse has finally, and suddenly, reached the powder keg, confirming the Dornbusch adage that financial crises always take longer than you think, but then unfold much faster than you expected.“ – bto: Und jetzt haben wir einen externen Schock.
  • As the international capital markets pull the plug on US fiscal incontinence, the Fed will again have to come to the rescue. It will have to restore negative real rates and blanket the debt markets with quantitative easing à outrance, or risk an economic depression. This in turn will launch the next QE bubble.“ – bto: Und dann? Was kommt danach? Die nächste Krise, die nächste Intervention?
  • For all the talk of permanently higher rates and bond yields, Mr Connolly says the West is still on the same conveyor belt towards ‚ever-lower real interest rates‘ requiring ‚ever-bigger bubbles‘, whether in stocks, credit and property, or in fiscal excess, or all together.“ – bto: Das ist in der Tat ein unerfreuliches Szenario.
  • It is sobering to think that the US federal government was running a large budget surplus in 2000 and the gross debt ratio was 54pc of GDP. A quarter of a century later the ratio is 120pc and vaulting past the 1945 peak. This is partly due to two big recessions and Covid, to be sure, but mostly due to three sets of unfunded tax cuts, two unfunded 21st-century wars and no serious effort to control ballooning middle-class entitlements.“ – bto: Es ist ein starker Anstieg der Schulden und er hat nicht wirklich zu einem Wirtschaftsboom geführt.
  • David Kelly from JP Morgan says the US is looking at annual fiscal deficits of $2 trillion this year, next year, and as far as the eye can see. This is at a time of effectively full employment and what should be bumper tax revenues. The deficit could hit $3.5 trillion in the next downturn.“ – bto: Dann stellt sich die Frage, ob es die Finanzmärkte noch mitmachen.
  • The US Treasury must roll over $8 trillion of existing debt and raise $2 trillion of fresh debt this fiscal year, even as the Fed tosses another $1 trillion onto the heap under its QT programme.“ – bto: Wer soll es kaufen?
  • Markets have also concluded that a polarised Washington is too dysfunctional to do anything about it. (…) Part of the bond rout can be understood as a ‚higher-for-longer‘ tantrum, as the Fed talks tough and takes putative rate cuts off the table for 2024. The deeper causes are global.“ – bto: Hier wirken die Sanktionen nach.
  • It was easy enough to fund US fiscal extravaganza when China and America were still on speaking terms, during the era of surplus global capital. It is not so easy today as globalisation unravels and central banks commanding $12 trillion of reserves, mostly in the Global South, grow wary of holding any asset that can be frozen by the US Treasury. Furthermore, the ECB has stopped pumping money into US bonds via leakage from its QE stimulus, which has now gone into reverse. The Bank of Japan’s retreat from yield curve control has hit the carry trade, drawing the country’s pension funds and life insurers away from US debt.“ – bto: Die globale Liquidität wird knapp, das schlägt sich auch bei den US-Anleihen nieder.
  • Monetary tightening and bond tightening both operate on the real economy with a lag. But we must be reaching the point where the highest borrowing costs since 2007 collide with a debt stock that was largely accumulated when policy rates were zero.“ – bto: Das über-geleveragte System überlebt nur bei tiefen Zinsen.
  • Almost half of America’s 4,800 banks are sitting on assets worth less than their liabilities, according to a study by four leading bank experts. The market value of their loan and bond portfolios was $2 trillion lower than stated book value as of March, and it is surely worse today. A soft bail-out by the Fed has masked the problem but cannot mask the slow erosion of capital buffers, with leveraged effects on credit through the banking multiplier.“ – bto: Das hatten wir ausführlich im Podcast besprochen.
  • Trouble could start anywhere in the financial system, most likely in a pocket of the shadow banking system. (…) Sooner or later the US economy will snap, and the world economy will snap with it, and this will short-circuit the rise in bond yields.“ – bto: Dann könnten die Zinsen steigen, obwohl die Wirtschaft schrumpft, eben weil die Staatsfinanzen aus dem Ruder laufen.

telegraph.co.uk (Anmeldung erforderlich): „Why the Fed will again have to slash rates to zero and relaunch QE“, 6. Oktober 2023