FINANCIAL TIMES: US-Rezession wahr­scheinlich

Martin Wolf von der FINANACIAL TIMES (FT) gibt sich keinen Illusionen hin. So oder so bekommen wir eine Rezession in den USA. Dies vermutlich wegen der unausweichlichen Politik der Fed. Nun mag man denken, dass das für uns egal ist. Nein, das ist es nicht. Es wird globale Auswirkungen haben, vor allem auch auf das fragile Stagflationsgebäude Eurozone:

  • „Powell argued optimistically that ‘we have a good chance to have a soft or softish landing. By this he meant that demand would be brought closer to supply, which could in turn ‘get wages down, and get inflation down without having to slow the economy and have a recession and have unemployment rise materially’. He also argued that ‘the economy is strong, and is well positioned to handle tighter monetary policy . . . but I’ll say I do expect that this will be very challenging’.“ – bto: Das ist doch super, die Fed bekommt das schon hin. Nun darf man natürlich nicht vergessen, dass das in solchen offiziellen Statements immer wichtig ist. Ich meine, sie können ja nicht sagen, „wir können es nicht“, denn dann können sie es definitiv nicht mehr.
  • Is it even possible to lower inflation to target just by trimming overheating of the labour market? Some suggest it might be. Alan Blinder of Princeton University and former Fed vice-chair has recently noted that on at least seven of the last 11 occasions, Fed tightening did lead to ‘pretty soft’ landings. The difficulty with these comparisons is that inflation is now at its highest level for 40 years.“ – bto: und dies nach 40 Jahren übermäßig lockerer Geldpolitik.
  • If one believes this will just fade away after a modest tightening, one must still think inflation is mostly ‘transitory’. That is highly optimistic. Crucially, the US has enjoyed an exceptionally vigorous recovery. Output growth last year was far stronger than in other leading high-income countries. The recovery of the labour market has been robust, with high vacancy and quit rates and a swift return to low unemployment. Only employment ratios remain a little below previous peaks. Moreover, wage growth has also been strong (…).“ – bto: Jetzt werden Kritiker anmerken, dass das für die USA gilt und in der Eurozone anders ist. Ja, das stimmt. Andererseits ist die EZB im Unterschied zur Fed nie aus der Politik des billigen Geldes ausgestiegen UND kann aufgrund vielfältiger Faktoren nicht wie die Fed straffen.
  • The difficulty is that, contrary to Powell’s protestations, inflation does not usually just fade away in such a strong economy. (…) If Powell is to prove correct, supply constraints must at least get no worse, while companies and workers adversely affected by them must take the reduced profits and real incomes on the chin. Yet why should they do so?“ – bto: Und bei uns fordern Giganten wie Marcel Fratzscher ausdrücklich, dass die Löhne jetzt erst recht deutlich steigen müssen, um die „Nachfrage zu stabilisieren“. Tja. Nicht nur in der IT ist der Rückstand der deutschen Wirtschaft offensichtlich
  • This view that a significant recession will not be needed to curb inflation is optimistic. But this is not the only form of optimism on display today. The other is the belief that such a recession can be avoided. The difficulty here is that fine-tuning a slowdown will be even harder than it normally is. One uncertainty is that reduced real incomes from high inflation are likely to curb demand, but how far they will do so depends on how willingly consumers spend savings built up during the Covid-induced recession.“ – bto: Der Zinsanstieg wirkt aber auch anders als früher wegen der höheren Verschuldung und Vermögenspreise.
  • Aber das sieht Martin Wolf von der FT auch: “Another and probably more important uncertainty is over how tighter monetary policy affects financial conditions in the US and abroad. One must not forget that there are exceptionally high levels of dollar-denominated debt across the world. Moreover, asset prices have also reached extreme levels: US house prices (measured on the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, deflated by the consumer price index) in February 2022 were 15 per cent higher than before the financial crisis; and the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio on stocks was higher than in any period since 1881, except for the late 1990s and early 2000. Collapses in asset prices in response to monetary tightening would turbocharge Fed policy, but unpredictably.“ – bto: weil niemand weiß, wie sensitiv das hochgeleveragte System mittlerweile ist.
  • It is, alas, quite likely that a recession will now be needed to keep inflationary expectations under control. Moreover, even if it turns out to be unnecessary, because inflation just fades away, a recession may still occur, simply because even a modestly tighter policy wreaks havoc in today’s fragile asset markets. But the Fed has to sustain its battered credibility on inflation. That is the heart of the central bank’s mandate. It must screw up its courage and do what it takes.“ – bto: “A call for recession” – wer hätte das erwartet? (Anmeldung erforderlich): „A soft landing in the US is possible but unlikely“, 10. Mai 2022