Das Thema „Vollgeld“ habe ich auf diesen Seiten und im Podcast mehrfach behandelt. Martin Wolf bringt es in seinem aktuellen Kommentar in der FINANCIAL TIMES (FT) wieder ins Spiel:
- „Banks are designed to fail. And so they do. Governments want them to be both safe places for the public to keep their money and profit-seeking takers of risk. They are at one and the same time regulated utilities and risk-taking enterprises. The incentives for management incline them towards risk-taking, just as the incentives for states incline them towards saving the utility when risk-taking blows it up. The result is costly instability.“ – bto: Das ist eine präzise Beschreibung des Problems.
- „(..) leverage of banking systems has fallen since the crisis. But it remains dangerously high. According to the Federal Reserve, on March 8 2023, the difference between the book value of the assets and debt liabilities of US commercial banks was $2,137bn. This slice of equity backed assets that were notionally worth $22,800bn. But a recent paper suggests that mark-to-market losses are already around $2tn. A general run would force these losses into the open and wipe out the equity.“ – bto: Man kann sagen, dass das Bankensystem der USA in Summe damit insolvent ist. Natürlich haben einige Banken massives negatives Eigenkapital und andere noch gute Polster. Es ist aber in der Summe ein massives Problem.
- „(…) it is still not clear how bad this crisis is going to be. But it is already evident that the reforms after the last one, though vastly better than nothing, were not enough…“ – bto: Und sie konnten es auch nicht sein.
Was könnte man tun?
- „First, let the market prevail (…). Alas, the functions of the banks in providing money and credit are too vital to allow this. The notion that the government guarantee of deposits creates moral hazard is also complicated. Depositors are unable to monitor the soundness of banks in real time: the absence of insurance would just make them more jittery. But its presence is clearly a subsidy to shareholders and so encourages higher leverage and greater risk-taking.“ – bto: Lassen wir sie pleite gehen, bekommen wir eine große Depression. Ein echtes Desaster.
- „Second, tighten up current regulation. All banks with deposits that are de jure or de facto insured need to be regulated for capital soundness and liquidity in the same way. (…) while extending deposit insurance, increase insurance premia and link them to the risk-characteristics of banks, such as leverage. Again, make stress tests universal and brutally realistic on all risks, including interest rates.“ – bto: Auch das mag in der Theorie etwas bringen, in der Praxis ist Skepsis angebracht.
- „Third, go well beyond business as usual in increasing the robustness of banks. One recommendation suggested a move to three-to-one leverage instead of the 10- or 20-to-one now common. An alternative proposal is to force banks to be funded by debt that converts automatically into equity as market valuations decline. (…) Finally, penalties on management of failed banks should be imposed, reflecting the reality that these are utilities.“ – bto: Auch das klingt vernünftig.
Aber die wohl beste Idee ist die Änderung des Geldsystems:
- „Fourth, abandon this attempt to combine the provision of money with risky loans in one sort of business. This would have two complementary elements. Liabilities to the public that are supposed to be perfectly liquid and redeemed at par (‚money‘) should be matched one-to-one with similar assets. This could be done by forcing intermediaries to hold reserves at the central bank or similarly liquid government liabilities. This is the famous ‚Chicago Plan‘. But members of the public could now hold central bank money directly. (…) This idea would make the central bank the monopoly supplier of money in the economy. Management of the digital payment system could then be handed over to technology companies. The money created by central banks could be used to fund government (by replacing government bonds) or be invested in other ways.“ – bto: In der Tat könnte man bei der Umstellung die ausstehenden Schulden deutlich reduzieren.
- „Meanwhile, risk-intermediation could be done by mutual funds, whose value would move with the market. Less radically, the intermediation might be done by banking institutions, but ones funded by a mixture of equity, bonds and time deposits, not sight deposits.“ – bto: Es gäbe die Geldaufbewahrung und die Geldanlage als getrennte Aspekte.
Fazit Wolf: „Banking stands revealed as a part of the state masquerading as part of the private sector. At the least, it needs to be far more robust. Ideally, it would be radically transformed.“ – bto: Und ich denke immer mehr: Das stimmt.