Zeitalter der realen Vermögens­vernichtung

Die FINACIAL TIMES (FT) befasst sich mit den Folgen der Zeitenwende – höhere Inflation, höhere Zinsen – und bringt es gleich auf den Punkt: „We’re at the sort of inflection that only strikes once or twice a century. That’s what makes it tricky.“ In der Tat ist es ein wichtiger Wendepunkt und das macht es nicht leicht(er), die weitere Entwicklung vorherzusehen.

  • Most people alive today grew up alongside a simply historic rise in financial wealth. We know nothing but relentless asset appreciation, propelled by disinflation and falling rates. Liquidity outpaced the economy. So did asset prices. But violent financial and geopolitical regime change is upending that status quo and the bubbly valuations that hinge on it.“ – bto: So ist es! Wir haben gut 40 Jahre steigenden Wohlstand gehabt, gemessen an Vermögen relativ zum BIP. Dahinter stehen die Verschuldung und der Leverage-Effekt.
  • Disinflationary, liquidity-dependent assets are of course the opposite of what you want under opposite macro conditions. But after 40 years of hyperfinancialisation and the recent orgy of money-funded speculation, these assets are most of global market capitalisation.“ – bto: Wir suchen Assets, die im neuen Umfeld performen. Das dürfte sehr schwer sein. Es geht um eine relative Performance!
  • The period of building ‘paper claims on real things’ is over, and these claims are being called in. So assets deflate and ‘real things’ inflate. (…). In this new era, a lot of the ‘financial wealth’ we built will prove illusory.“ – bto: Das Problem ist allerdings, dass die Schulden mit denen diese Financial Wealth belastet sind, nicht einfach verschwinden.
  • „(…) Richard Nixon’s gold and China policies set the parameters of the world we’re now leaving. More money was printed since the US abandoned the gold standard than during any other peacetime period. We spent more than we made. But globalisation simultaneously supplied us with output from the world’s cheap labour, and a privileged ability to import the world’s savings.“ – bto: Das gilt für die USA, aber eben auch zum Teil für uns.
  • Winners naturally rotate across cycles, and that rotation was overdue before the Covid-19 pandemic. Then our great leaders seized the excuse to take printing-and-spending to an unsustainable extreme. So what’s now happening is the inevitable cyclical baton-pass, secular regime change and a monetary contraction of untested size (always bad) — all from bubble levels.
    There is no immaculate disinflationary force to counteract the demand shock this time. This isn’t a supply crunch — volumes of almost everything are at highs. (…) Markets expect inflation and interest rates to converge at around 3 per cent, with negative real rates the entire time. Seasoned watchers of emerging markets know a Brazilian policy mix gets you a Brazilian growth/inflation mix.“ – bto: Das aber wollen die Superhelden an den Schalthebeln nicht sehen, ganz zu schweigen von den beratenden Ökonomen.
  • Volatility and leverage are antithetical concepts. So, inflation must remain above interest rates to first eat through the debt. The base case must therefore be a repeat of the inadequate tightenings and chronic inflation of the 1970s.“ – bto: Der Autor ist also im Stagflationslager.
  • Assets quite simply extrapolate what were always fundamentally unsustainable cyclical and secular conditions. (…) The ‘thing that’s not priced in’ is that both inflation and interest rates will be much higher, for much longer, than the markets are willing to price. Both are, independently, a death knell for assets, at least in real terms. Higher rates won’t bring down inflation if they remain below nominal growth, because in that world cash flows are rising faster than the cost of acquiring and servicing them. But the end of abundant liquidity can certainly crush assets trading at many multiples of sales.“ – bto: Die Vermögen werden also relativ zum BIP sinken und nicht steigen. Das ist eine Umkehrung der Entwicklung der letzten Jahrzehnte und es wird dabei darum gehen, relativ weniger Vermögen zu verlieren als die anderen.

FT (Anmeldung erforderlich): „An age of real wealth destruction“, 16. Juni 2022