Was Pimco-Chef El-Erian vom Brettspiel "Risiko" gelernt hat
In einer immer komplexeren Anlagewelt helfen bisweilen einfache Bilder, Sachverhalte besser zu verstehen. Einige verständlichen Bilder lieferte vergangene Woche Pimco-Co-Chef Mohamed El-Erian im Interview mit der FTD – und erläuterte etwa beispielhaft anhand seines Lieblings-Brettspiels „Risiko“, welche Schwierigkeiten man als Investor von 1800 Mrd. Dollar im US-Anleihenmarkt mit einem Mitspieler wie der US-Notenbank hat.
Überhaupt erwies sich der Chefanlagestratege von Pimco als schlagfertig und bestens gelaunt – und drehte am Ende des Gesprächs des Spieß um – und interviewte eine Viertelstunde lang die FTD-Redakteure über deren Bild von Pimco. Das Interview (mit El-Erian, nicht uns…) ist bereits in der FTD erschienen (für Abonnenten nachzulesen hier), wobei es sich dabei um eine geraffte Version des Transkripts handelt. Einige Passagen mit El-Erians Bildern lohnen sich, quasi als „Outtake“, auch in ihrer vollen ursprünglichen Länge:
Über die Art und Weise, wie die Notenbankpolitik Märkte verändert:
„Even the functioning of markets is changing. Let me use a personal example. I grew up playing board games. Now I have a child and am rediscovering board games again. And the board game I love most ist „Risk“. I used to play it every single day in university. Not all the time, but most of the time, I would tend to win. If you are good in calculating probabilities, you have a good chance of winning. [Anmerkung: Nachzulesen auch hier]
Now I never win! Part of it is that I am getting older. No doubt about that. But part of it is that one of my wife’s parents plays with us. That parent is like a central bank in markets. Central banks when they come into markets, they are not commercial players. They are not maximizing on a profit and loss account. They have different objectives. When I play with that parent, that person has absolutely no interest in winning the game according to the stated objectives. They are not commercial players. The interest of that parent-in-law is to knock me out of the game. What does that do? It changes the whole dynamic of the game.
When you have a non-commercial player that has a printing press in the basement – and central banks do – they change the function of the markets completely. And that’s the reality what’s going on today. And we don’t know what all the consequences are.“
Auf die Frage, wann die Notenbankpolitik gefährlich wird:
„So far, we see an accumulation of small collateral damage and unintented consequences. And what we worry about most is not that any one of them becomes overwhelming but rather what happens to them as a group. The image I have comes from California. I have an eight year old who likes building mountains of sand. You build, you build, you build, more and more sand. And then a very few particules of sand can completely change the shape and stability of the whole mountain. You can’t really predict exactly when it is going to happen. And in economics and finances, there is quite a bit of this non-linear behaviour where suddenly you get to a tipping point where things change very quickly.
We worry that we should not get too close to the tipping point with central banks. Because remember the picture of the sand mountain. Once it falls apart, it’s very difficult to put it back together. So, yes I’m uncomfortable about how much central banks are being used right now.“
Über Ansteckungsgefahren in der Schuldenkrise:
„It’s as if you have an infection in your finger. Everybody looks your finger and says, oh it’s so small. You remember? Oh, Greece is only 2 percent of the euro-zone’s GDP. In the United States, the mistake in 2007 was to say: oh subprime mortgages are so small. But if they’re interlinked to the rest of the body, next thing you know, this infection spreads. And if you’re not careful, and that’s what happened last year, this infection starts to threaten your vital organs, just like it happened in the United States with the mortgage crisis. So it is really important to understand that Europe is going to have to make those decisions. And it is only Europe that can make these decisions, no one else can make them for you.“
Über die gefährliche Lähmung, wenn es darum geht, Entscheidungen zu treffen:
„The distribution of potential outcomes is bimodal. In other words, the euro zone is going to tip one way or the other. The lower probability is that it tips a bad equilibrium, bad for Europe, bad for Germany, bad for the whole world; and everybody wants to avoid that, which is the fragmentation of the euro zone. Or it can tip to a stronger, more sustainable euro zone. These types of bimodal distributions hard to deal with; they are paralysing.
If you want to know why your politicians seem so frozen at times, it’s because the political system and institutions don’t cope well with this. I’ll give you an example. If you think your plane is at five o’clock, and Lufthansa calls you and says your plane is not at five o’clock, it will either be leaving at nine in the morning or at nine at night, you will be paralysed. Humans hate those bimodal distributions. We get paralysed by these bimodal distributions. We don’t know what to do.“