Explodierende welt­weite Verschul­dung erfor­dert Schulden­schnitt

Gestern hatten wir die KfW mit einem optimistischen Ausblick. Dank tiefer Zinsen ist es auch für Italien kein großes Problem, mit seinen Schulden umzugehen – vorausgesetzt, das Wachstum ist ausreichend hoch.

Na ja. Zweifel bleiben angebracht und so bleiben wir bei dem Thema: was tun mit den vielen Schulden?

Der Telegraph diskutiert erneut die Möglichkeit eines geordneten Schuldenschnittes:

  • “(…) the IMF (…) urges governments to head off the risk of runaway debt spirals before it is too late. On the other, it calls for more stimulus to prevent an economic relapse once the sugar rush from reopening has faded. It says politicians would be ‘well-advised’ to spend generously on social services and the poor in order to avert a breakdown of the democratic contract – meaning a 1930s lurch towards the hard Left and hard Right, or revolution at the edges.” – bto: Das wird besonders gerne als Argument in Deutschland angeführt, wobei verdrängt wird, dass es bei uns nicht so ein Problem ist und die Umverteilung schon auf vollen Touren läuft.
  • “The IMF tries to square the policy circle by advocating investment in infrastructure projects with a fiscal multiplier of 1.0 to 2.0, meaning that they pay for themselves through higher GDP growth, and ultimately lower the debt ratio over time. It is impeccable advice but the scale of global public debt is eye-watering. Solvency was already stretched by the Lehman crisis and the damaged decade that followed.” – bto: Vor allem haben wir das Problem, dass das mit dem Multiplier so eine Sache ist. Vorher/nachher kommt was anderes raus.
  • “The pandemic has since blown through like a fiscal hurricane. The IMF says it has cost governments $16 trillion (£12 trillion) in lost revenue and rescue packages. Sovereign debt ratios averaged 84pc in rich countries before Covid. They will approach 123pc of GDP by the time it is over. The US is heading for 135pc by mid-decade under Bidenomics. These levels surpass all-time highs in the late 1940s before the London Conference restructured the deadweight debts of World War Two. They do not take into account debt guarantees extended liberally last year, especially in Italy.” – bto: Und sie beinhalten nicht die verdeckten Verbindlichkeiten, die es in dem Umfang in früheren Zeiten nicht gab.
  • “Emerging markets have reached critical thresholds as well. This is not because they splashed out on stimulus or furloughs. Few dared risk such relief spending. Debt ratios have jumped because economies contracted. They have hit 81pc in South Africa, 87pc in India, 93pc in Egypt, and 98pc in Brazil, where the Bolsonaro misadventure is nearing its denouement. These are unprecedented levels for their stage of economic development and market depth.” – bto: weshalb auch hier bereits eine Diskussion über Schuldenschnitte aufkommt.
  • “China too has blown the fiscal books. It ran a deficit of 11.4pc last year and will still be at 9.6pc this year. Declared public debt has jumped to almost 70pc of GDP, heading for 86pc by 2026. What the ratio really is once you include the contingent liabilities of the financial system and the state-owned entities so pivotal to Communist Party control is anybody’s guess. China cannot go bankrupt since the Party controls the banks. But it can stagnate in a swamp of malinvestments. Such a fate is highly likely given that total factor productivity in China has collapsed even faster over the last decade than it has in the West, and given that the working population is already contracting by 3.4 million every year as the demographic bust gathers pace.” – bto: Deshalb hat es auch keine Chance, die USA zu überholen.
  • So how close is the world to a cathartic debt restructuring? (…) For now, central banks are disguising the problem by soaking up treasury debt issuance, almost dollar for dollar. This has suppressed market signals. It is holding down borrowing costs. Citigroup warns that debt sustainability will look very different as soon as inflation starts to rise and central banks are forced to tighten.” – bto: Das wird nicht kommen, weil die Zinsen tief gehalten werden, und zwar sehr lange.
  • “The Federal Reserve (…) cannot defy gravity for long. Futures markets are pricing in rate rises earlier than it wants. Should bond vigilantes conclude that the Fed is engaging in stealth debasement, they will take matters into their own hands and drive yields to levels that reflect the inflation risk.” – bto: nicht unbedingt. Die Fed wird einfach sehr viel – um nicht zu sagen alles – kaufen.
  • “Central banks cannot wave a magic wand and make national debts disappear, at least under the way they have conducted quantitative easing (QE) hitherto. (…) In extremis, central banks could tear up the rulebook, stop paying interest on reserves, and print in earnest, whether you call it helicopter money or fiscal dominance. Some may do exactly that when all else fails. But the first one to go that route will be punished mercilessly by the markets. Holding the line as long as possible is a better strategy for central banks.” – bto: William White hat es besser erklärt: Wenn alle es gleichzeitig machen, kann man nicht fliehen.
  • I suspect that global debt ratios have passed a point of no return. At some juncture two or three big beasts will get into trouble at the same time and trouble will spread. The political structure of Europe’s monetary union and the Maastricht constraints mean that the European Central Bank cannot engage in a disguised bail-out of Club Med debts for much longer. Italy ultimately lacks a lender of last resort.” – bto: falsch. Wer sollte die EZB daran hindern?
  • “Sooner or later, there will have to be a partial jubilee to clear debts and reduce the burden on the millennial generation to tolerable levels. Creditors will have to take a haircut. The better the statecraft, the less traumatic it will be. Debt restructuring is preferable to decades of austerity and primary budget surpluses in a self-defeating attempt to turn back the clock, as Britain attempted to do so stubbornly in the 1920s.” – bto: theoretisch richtig, doch praktisch? Wer soll das durchführen?

telegraph.co.uk (Anmeldung erforderlich): „Ballooning global debts need to be restructured before it is too late“, 8. April 2021