McKinsey: Die Blasen­bildung muss uns alle besorgt machen

Erneut ist es das McKinsey Global Institute, das sich traut, offen anzusprechen, was sonst nur wenige tun. Nämlich die Tatsache, dass wir zu viele Schulden in der Welt haben. Meine früheren Kollegen haben das Thema seit meinem Weggang vor nunmehr fast zehn Jahren – wie die Zeit vergeht! – lieber nicht mehr andressiert.

Das erste Mal, als McKinsey das gesagt hat, habe ich es so kommentiert:

→ McKinsey für Vermögens­abgabe und Mone­tari­sierung

Und fünf Jahre später dann so:

→ McKinsey fasst zusammen: (fast) alles schlimmer als vor zehn Jahren

Heute nur ein kurzer Blick auf die Zusammenfassung der aktuellen Studie in der FINANCIAL TIMES (FT):

  • „(…) a new report about the state of the world’s balance sheet (that is, its assets and debts relative to growth) contains a startling finding. Number crunchers at the consultancy McKinsey believe that, since 2000, the world’s stock of paper wealth (the speculative, unrealised price of all its financial assets) has jumped by some $160tn.“ – bto: Das ist die Folge der Politik des immer billigeren Geldes.
  • „Partly, that reflects real economic growth. But it primarily stems from a sharp rise in global debt and in the supply of money through quantitative easing, particularly in countries such as the US, which has raised asset prices. For every dollar of global investment made since 2000, some $1.90 of debt has been added. During the 2020 and 2021 period, this ‚accelerated to $3.40 for each $1.00 in net investment‘, McKinsey says. This was the fastest rate in 50 years.“ – bto: Und Investitionen sind nicht immer auch wachstumsfördernd. Denken wir an Immobilien.
  • „That has raised the putative value of all global assets, relative to gross domestic product, from about 470 per cent of global GDP in 2000 to more than 600 per cent today, with real estate and equity markets booming faster than the “real” economy to a truly remarkable ($160tn) degree.“ – bto: Das – und nur das – steckt hinter der von Piketty beschriebenen Problematik. Er hat die Wirkung des Leverage noch nicht verstanden.
  • „(…) since stealthy asset price inflation has been happening for so long, even before 2000, it now feels entirely ‚normal‘. Two factors now unfolding should make us all rethink this. One, asset price inflation has been a key factor behind the rising wealth inequality that economists such as Thomas Piketty have identified in recent years and which has poisoned western politics. Two, this trend of ever-rising asset prices might be about to change. A key factor behind it is that interest rates have been on a decades-long downward trend, making debt cheap. However, last year, rates jumped up, wiping some $8tn, equivalent to a third of the US economy, from household assets in 2022 alone.“ – bto: Natürlich, Zinsanstieg muss die Werte fallen lassen.
  • „(…) the McKinsey report, titled ‚The Future of Wealth and Growth is in the Balance‘, outlines four potential future scenarios — one of which is a return to what we consider ‚normal‘, namely low rates and more asset price rises. But I personally doubt that this is likely.“ – bto: Ich denke auch, dass es nur ein allerletztes Mal passieren könnte –quasi ein letztes Hurra vor dem Crash. Und zwar dem richtig großen.
  • „Another of the scenarios sketched out in the report is one where inflation stays high and volatile for a long time, combined with some growth. If that happens it could unleash a pattern known as ‚financial repression‘ — the economic term for a place where the yields on long-term government bonds stay lower than inflation for several years, essentially causing anyone who holds such bonds to lose money each year.“ – bto: Richtig, die Wirtschaft würde nominal in die Assetpreise hineinwachsen.
  • „A third option is a wave of balance sheet restructurings and recessions that reduces the excess debt. As David Graeber wrote in his book Debt, when debt and asset prices have surged before, it has typically produced political implosions or sent governments scrambling to create social ‚safety valves‘ — such as debt forgiveness — to avoid meltdown.“ – bto: Das stimmt. Aber es ist eben die Frage, ob man das geordnet hinbekommt oder aber es zu einem deflationären Kollaps führt.
  • „This sounds sensible in theory; as ancient Mesopotamia discovered several millennia ago, the idea of ‚wiping the slate clean‘ of excess debts can enable a society to reboot.“ – bto: … dazu meine diesbezüglichen Überlegungen aus dem Jahr 2011 → Back to Mesopotamia
  • „But McKinsey estimates that a fully fledged balance-sheet recession and restructuring could wipe out $48tn of household wealth in the coming years, with 30 per cent falls in equity and real estate prices in places such as the US. That would probably help to reduce inequality in the long run. But it would be such a shock that it could dampen confidence — and economic growth — badly.“ – bto: Es ist das Rezept für eine deflationäre Depression.
  • „Of course, there is also another possible scenario: a productivity miracle that enables real economic activity to expand much faster than paper wealth and debt, rebalancing the world. That would be the holy grail. But it is hard to believe it will occur.“ – bto: Stimmt, es wäre toll.
  • „So I would urge you, once again, to ponder that dizzying $160tn number. And then ask: can we adjust our minds to an era where asset prices do not always rise? What will be our future ‚normal‘?“ – bto: Das ist ein Problem. Denn dann wachsen auch die Schulden nicht mehr.

→ (Anmeldung erforderlich): „We should all be worried about the ‘financialisation’ of our world“, 24. Mai 2023