Das Wallstreet Journal sieht die primäre Ursache für die katastrophale Lage der britischen Pension Funds nicht bei der Politik von PM Liz Truss, sondern bei jener der Bank of England und der meisten anderen Zentralbanken. Das Blatt schreibt:
What isn’t responsible for this panic, by the way, is tax policy. Conventional wisdom now blames Prime Minister Liz Truss’s tax-cutting plan, announced on Sept. 23, for the pension blowup. That announcement may have lit a match near the pension bomb’s fuse if it momentarily spooked investors, but plenty of other sparks were in the air. A pension crisis was all but inevitable as interest-rate increases created new stresses for hedging strategies.
Blame the Bank of England. The global monetary-policy conceit since 2008 has been that central banks could push interest rates to unprecedented lows and then manage financial fragility via tighter regulation. That’s been no protection at all as Britain’s highly regulated pension funds struggled to cope with the costs created by the sudden reversal of ultralow rates to fight inflation.
This is a warning as central banks elsewhere belatedly tighten policy. After an extraordinary era of loose money, it’s hard to know where the risks will appear. But you can’t have incentives to take extraordinary financial risks for so long without casualties. To put it another way, Modern Monetary Theory has been a great financial confidence trick.
Walter Bagehot, the eminent Victorian, warned that the proverbial John Bull can stand many things but he can’t stand rates as low as 2%. Neither, it turns out, can John Bull’s pension fund.