Schluss mit dem Kriti­sieren – warum der EU-Deal super ist!

Schluss mit der Kritik an den Brüsseler Beschlüssen! Man muss von außen auf die EU blicken, um zu sehen, wie gut der Deal für uns ist. Am besten als Redakteur aus einem Land, das sich der Brüsseler Schulden-Transfer-Union durch den Brexit entzogen hat oder aber als Mitarbeiter einer Genfer Privatbank.

Sabrina Khanniche ist Senior Economist bei Pictet Asset Management und freut sich in einem Beitrag in der FINANCIAL TIMES (FT) richtig über den Deal:

  • “(…) hope is in sufficient supply. Much of it comes in the form of Franco-German resolve. (…) Indeed, whenever the two have worked in tandem, they have proved a formidable pairing. It was their alliance that kept Britain out of the European Economic Community for years in the 1960s, and it is to their collective effort that the euro owes its very existence. Given that the frugal four account for just one-tenth of the bloc’s total population, it is a fair bet that Paris and Berlin — which speak for almost two-fifths — will prevail again.” – bto: Die Briten draußen zu halten und den Euro einzuführen, waren also die großen Leistungen dieser Allianz. Super.
  • “If they do, they may end up transforming the investment landscape. Europe’s bonds, currency and stocks could become much bigger features of international portfolios.Bonds, in particular, could benefit. That is because the fiscal co-ordination at the core of the plan will create a sovereign fixed-income market for the eurozone worthy of the name.” – bto: Endlich gibt es mehr Schulden, die man kaufen kann. Das ist doch super.
  • “Currently, less than a quarter of European sovereign and supranational bonds carry triple A ratings. The recovery programme could increase the amount of top-rated debt to some €1.4tn.” – bto: Diese Alchemie kennen wir noch aus der Finanzkrise. Obwohl die Garantiegeber überwiegend nicht AAA sind, wird durch die Bündelung plötzlich alles AAA. Müsste da Deutschland nicht das AAA-Rating verlieren, wegen der enormen Lasten?
  • “Europe’s riskier sovereign bonds might also become sturdier investments — not least if the recovery fund were to succeed in sharing the costs of economic reconstruction and easing the pressure on the most indebted nations.” – bto: Auch dies müsste zu einer Ratingverschlechterung für Deutschland führen. Aber egal, aus Sicht der Investoren wächst der Markt an Finanzassets und das ist immer gut.
  • “A more stable Europe and a deeper bond market would also boost the euro’s standing. Since its inception, the single currency has lived in the shadow of the US dollar. Its failure to mount a challenge to the greenback’s status as a reserve currency has in part reflected the lingering risk of the break-up of the bloc.” – bto: Und das passiert ja nun nicht, also nichts wie los und die Währung kaufen, die nur durch EZB-finanzierte Schulden überlebt. Denke, für jene, die im Euroraum sind, ändert sich nichts an der Notwendigkeit, aus dem Euroraum zu diversifizieren – solange es noch keine Kapitalverkehrskontrollen gibt.
  • “By our reckoning, the euro is trading 16 per cent lower against the US dollar than is warranted by fundamentals such as a healthy current account surplus. What is more, the euro is also under-represented in global central bank reserves relative to the bloc’s economic size, accounting for just 20 per cent of the total compared to the US dollar’s 62 per cent share. With the anti-pandemic fund in place, the euro’s status as both an investment and store of value is sure to grow.” – bto: Das mag sein. Ich denke, eher es ist eine Illusion, dass sich das ändert. Denn schon bald werden die Märkte erkennen, dass es ein weiteres Mal ein “kicking the can down the road” der Politik ist.
  • Europe’s equities could also enjoy a re-rating. Over the past 20 years, they have consistently traded at a steep discount to their US counterparts. Over that time, US stocks’ price-to-book ratio has been some 50 per cent higher on average. The gap is not an anomaly, but rather testifies to three fundamental differences between US and European markets. First, the US is home to a far larger number of faster-growing, tech-oriented companies; there are no European versions of Facebook, Google or Apple. Second, due to more favourable tax and regulatory regimes, American companies enjoy superior profitability. Third, valuations for eurozone stocks have consistently embedded the risk of a break-up. The recovery fund could reduce some of these disparities. By channelling as much as a third of its total funding to tech and green sectors, it could revitalise Europe’s ‘new economy’ stocks.” – bto: Wer das glaubt! Weil die Bürokratie mehr Geld ausgibt, bekommen wir unsere Googles und Apples? Steuern werden eher erhöht als gesenkt und das Break-up-Risiko kommt zurück. Dennoch kann es gut sein, dass die europäischen Börsen sich relativ besser entwickeln und der Euro aufwertet.
  • “Spurred on by tighter environmental regulations, European companies are already making advances in renewables, smart city infrastructure and energy efficiency technology. With additional public and private investment, the region could become a global leader in these and other fast-growing environmental industries.” – bto: In Deutschland ist diese Wette nicht aufgegangen.
  • “So investors would do well to embrace the EU’s radical change of direction. Betting on the old continent might soon deliver a new kind of reward.” – bto: Da ich keinen “radikalen Kurswechsel” sehe, teile ich diesen Optimismus nicht. Außerdem glaube ich nicht an den Erfolg planwirtschaftlicher Industrieentwicklung.

Martin Sandbu, mehrfach schon auf diesen Seiten zitiert, ist ebenfalls begeistert vom Deal: Die “EU hätte den Rubicon überschritten”. Soweit ich mich erinnere, war das damals zwar keine gute Idee, aber lesen wir, was er dazu denkt:

  • “(…) let us acknowledge how remarkable it is that European leaders required only four days and nights to agree an unprecedented common economic programme. They overcame resistance from the small but rich “frugal” countries and permanently shifted the politics of the EU’s future economic decisions.” – bto: richtig. Sie haben die Tür geöffnet in Richtung Transfer- und Schuldenunion.
  • “The agreement struck on Tuesday is nevertheless a big deal, even economically. It roughly doubles the regular EU budget’s size for the next three years. Some recipients stand to receive significant transfers. Italy can hope for a total award of perhaps 5 per cent of its annual national income, smaller and poorer countries quite a bit more. Loans of a similar magnitude, if not larger, will come on top.” – bto: Und was ist da jetzt gut dran? Die Gelder werden überwiegend konsumptiv verwendet, es wird so gewirtschaftet, als käme es jetzt dauerhaft. Eine Annahme, die vermutlich zutrifft.
  • “But the real importance of the deal is how it reshapes the EU’s political economy. First and most obviously, the bloc has crossed the Rubicon of debt-financed deficit spending at union level. As the frugals knew and feared, what can be done once can be done again.” – bto: Und es werden Billionen sein, die da in unserem Namen und mit unseren künftigen Abgaben besichert in die anderen Staaten fließen.
  • “(…) while leaders dodged the question of how to raise money to service the common debt, they committed themselves to increase the EU’s revenues. Now they must find new common tax bases, albeit modest ones. They only agreed on a plastic tax, but committed to considering proposals for carbon border fees and expanded carbon taxation in Europe. Whatever solutions they choose, they have boarded the train towards more common taxation and cannot get off and turn back.” – bto: Und diese Steuern zahlen auch wir – überproportional!
  • “There is a requirement for leaders to endorse countries’ spending plans (but by qualified majority, not unanimity) and a national right to delay, but not stop, a commission decision to grant money. This reintroduces a role for cross-border politics in what the EU has fruitlessly tried to codify in rigid rules. But they have avoided the political hold-ups and policy extortion that made rescue loans so toxic during the eurozone debt crisis. If managed well, the new governance structure could be the embryo of truly pan-European economic policymaking.” – bto: von dem wir wissen, dass es dazu führt, dass das Geld an die “Bedürftigen” geht, also nach Frankreich, Italien und Spanien, bezahlt von den eigentlich ärmeren Deutschen.
  • “The flip side of these changes is that what was not changed will become more entrenched, in particular the normal budget’s size and structure. EU money will continue to be spent mainly on agricultural subsidies and ‘cohesion fund’ aid to poor regions.” – bto: Deshalb ist der Deal ein Desaster für die EU. Es macht uns noch weniger wettbewerbsfähig, reduziert das Wachstum und schwächt Europa so weiter, dass es nur scheitern kann.
  • “It is puzzling that the frugals, who care the most about this, did not pick their battles accordingly. Instead they fought successfully to trim the recovery grants and their own budget contributions, choosing short-term savings over long-term reprioritisation. Yet they have not stopped the move towards more common fiscal policy. Their victory is mostly Pyrrhic.” – bto: So ist es. Deshalb kommt der Austritt dieser Staaten in den kommenden Jahren auf die Agenda.

Ambroise Evans-Pritchard sieht die Mittelverwendung ebenfalls kritisch:

  • “The details of the accord are nothing short of shocking. Europe’s leaders cut science spending by €20bn. They slashed the green technology fund by three quarters. They excised almost every line item of technological worth or with a potent economic multiplier. They even gutted most of the €9.4bn earmarked for pandemics and cross-border health threats.” – bto: Es geht auch nicht um die Zukunft. Das wissen wir ja.
  • “All was sacrificed for the sake of the deal itself and to secure the theological advance in the Project: a proto-EU treasury able to borrow on the global capital markets and raise its own Hamiltonian revenue streams, starting with a plastic levy. The great digital leap forward is to become instead a digital tax to fund the Commission.” – bto: Es ist der große Sieg Macrons, der hofft, mit dem Zugriff auf europäische Steuergelder und Schulden die eigene Wiederwahl zu sichern.
  • “What survived is a patronage machine – ie, a Brussels slush fund – that diverts money from investment to generic all-purpose spending.” – bto: Was anderes ist der Traum der Bürokraten? Genau. Es ist super.
  • “The fiscal impulse is stretched over six years. Stimulus eventually peaks at 1.4pc of Europe’s GDP but not until 2024. The package is not enough to make up for the timid pandemic stimulus of most eurozone governments, so far amounting to just 4pc of GDP. (…) Under the blueprint, Italy gets €81bn in grants over the life of the package. This is decoration set against a budget deficit heading for €260bn this year, pushing the debt ratio to reach 160pc of GDP by December.” – bto: Auch das wissen wir, aber es ist egal. 80 Milliarden versickern im Fass ohne Boden (siehe gestern).
  • “Europe’s leaders now risk becoming ensnared by their own overblown rhetoric. It is the ECB that is currently holding the fort by soaking up the eurozone’s entire debt issuance each month. Northern hawks on the governing council now have the excuse they need to resist further increases in pandemic QE and to demand a return to some semblance of monetary normality by early next year. If the Recovery Fund is such a game changer, what justification remains for an eternal ECB bail-out at the outer limits of treaty law?” – bto: Quatsch. Frau Lagarde stellt die Finanzierung sicher.
  • “Let me stick my neck out: Europe’s leaders will be meeting again to argue over a second, bigger rescue package within a year.” – bto: Und deshalb feiert Macron, denn er weiß, dass das Instrument für Billionenkredite jetzt geschaffen wird.

→ (Anmeldung erforderlich): “The EU pandemic fund will transform the investment landscape”, 21. Juli 2020

→ (Anmeldung erforderlich): “EU crosses the Rubicon with its emergency recovery fund”, 22. Juli 2020

→ (Anmeldung erforderlich): “EU leaders sacrificed their ideals for a tainted accord that makes little economic difference”, 22. Juli 2020