Dienstag, 20. Januar 2015

Reaktionen auf die SNB-Überraschung

Ein paar (zufällig ausgewählte) Reaktionen auf die Entscheidung der SNB, den Wechselkurs des Franken gegenüber dem Euro wieder "freizugeben".

P. Krugman gefällt die Entscheidung gar nicht, weil er die bisherige Politik als Maßnahme gegen deflationäre Tendenzen in der Schweiz für angebracht hielt.
"On Thursday, however, the Swiss National Bank managed a credible regime change. Unfortunately, it was a regime change in the wrong direction. By throwing in the towel on the peg to the euro, the SNB immediately convinced markets that its previous apparent commitment to do whatever it takes to avoid deflation is null and void. And this expectations effect trumped the concrete, immediate policy of drastically negative interest rates on reserves."
"Krugman may well be right about the reasons that Switzerland's central bank abandoned its peg, but that doesn't mean that it was wrong to do so.

Switzerland's peg was designed to promote its growth at the expense of its neighbors. The under-valued currency boosts the economy by making Swiss exports cheaper relative to the goods and services of its trading partners and making imports into Switzerland more expensive. In this story, Switzerland's growth is a direct subtraction from the growth of its trading partners. [...]

Switzerland has a budget surplus and extremely low government debt. It should be running budget deficits to boost its economy and those of its neighbors. There is no reason we should be applauding its efforts to sustain demand in its economy at the expense of its neighbors."
"The decision to end the one-sided peg cannot be described as a mistake. As most decisions, it balances various considerations. In the end, the dominating reason is the one that is untold. The SNB is bound to carry out an independent monetary policy, which means a flexible exchange rate. It is also under pressure for the size of its foreign-exchange reserves. In addition, its profits represent a non-negligible resource for the cantons. It is suffering losses on its euro-denominated assets and probably did not want to accumulate more of them. As noted by Brunnermeier and James (2015), political considerations must have loomed large."
Cecchetti & Schoenholtz ziehen die Schlussfolgerung, dass es aus politischen Gründen anscheinend nicht nur schwer ist einen überbewerteten Wechselkurs zu halten sondern auch einen unterbewerteten, und übertragen diese Erkenntnis auf die Zukunt des Euroraums.
"The bottom line: even when it makes considerable economic sense, a fixed exchange rate can be difficult to sustain. We knew this was true when the objective is to prevent one’s currency from depreciating. The lesson of the SNB’s experience is that it can be very difficult to thwart appreciation as well. Even the Swiss, with their uncanny ability to make the trains run on time, couldn’t do this.
Keep that in mind if, for example, Greece were to leave the euro area. Once a country exits, the Maastricht Treaty notion of an irrevocable commitment to the single currency would be lost, converting the monetary union to just another fixed-exchange regime. If this triggers renewed worries about “currency redenomination risk,” that regime could prove fragile as well."

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