Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Problemas en el paraíso de los mercados emergentes

NUEVA YORK – Durante los últimos años se alimentó mucha expectativa por los BRICS (Brazil, Rusia, India, China y Sudáfrica). Según se dice, con sus grandes poblaciones y rápido crecimiento, pronto se convertirán en algunas de las mayores economías del mundo –y, en el caso de China, en la mayor de todas ya para 2020. Pero los BRICS, como muchas otras economías de mercados emergentes, recientemente han sufrido una fuerte desaceleración económica. ¿Se terminó entonces la luna de miel?

El PBI brasileño solo creció el 1 % el año pasado y es posible que no supere el 2 % este año. Su crecimiento potencial se estima apenas por encima del 3 %. La economía rusa puede crecer apenas el 2 % este año y su crecimiento potencial también ronda el 3 %, a pesar de que los precios del petróleo están en el orden de los $100 por barril. India recientemente tuvo un par de años de fuerte crecimiento (11,2 % en 2010 y 7,7 % en 2011), pero bajó al 4 % en 2012.La economía china creció el 10 % al año durante las últimas 3 décadas, pero cayó al 7,8 % el año pasado y corre el riesgo de un aterrizaje forzoso. Y Sudáfrica solo creció el 2,5 % el año pasado y es posible que no crezca supere el 2 % en este.

Muchas otras economías de mercados emergentes con rápido crecimiento en el pasado –por ejemplo, Turquía, Argentina, Polonia, Hungría y muchas en Europa Central y del Este– experimentan una desaceleración similar. Entonces, ¿qué aqueja a los BRIC y a otros mercados emergentes?

En primer lugar, las economías emergentes se recalentaron en 2010-2011, con tasas de crecimiento que superaron a las potenciales y tasas de inflación por encima de las deseadas y en ascenso. Muchas ajustaron entonces su política monetaria en 2011 y eso afectó su crecimiento en 2012, un efecto que se extendió a este año.

En segundo lugar, pensar que las economías de mercados emergentes podrían desvincularse completamente de las debilidades económicas en las economías avanzadas era rocambolesco: siempre fue probable que la recesión en la zona del euro, la cuasi recesión en el Reino Unido y Japón en 2011-2012, y el lento crecimiento económico en Estados Unidos afectaran negativamente al desempeño de los mercados emergentes –a través del comercio, los vínculos financieros y la confianza de los inversores. Por ejemplo, el empeoramiento en curso en la zona del euro ha afectado a Turquía y a economías de mercados emergentes en Europa Central y del Este, debido a los vínculos comerciales.

En tercer lugar, la mayoría de los BRICS y otros pocos mercados emergentes han pasado a una variante del capitalismo de estado. Esto implica una desaceleración en las reformas que aumentan la productividad y participación en la economía del sector privado, junto con un mayor peso de las empresas estatales (y de los bancos estatales en la asignación del crédito y el ahorro), así como el nacionalismo de recursos, el proteccionismo comercial, las políticas de sustitución de importaciones industriales y la imposición de controles al capital.

Este enfoque puede haber funcionado en las etapas tempranas del desarrollo y cuando la crisis financiera mundial produjo una caída del gasto privado; pero ahora distorsiona la actividad económica y deprime el crecimiento potencial. De hecho, la desaceleración china refleja un modelo económico, en palabras del ex primer ministro Wen Jiabao, «inestable, desequilibrado, falto de coordinación e insostenible» que ahora afecta adversamente el crecimiento en los países emergentes de Asia y a los mercados emergentes exportadores de productos básicos desde Asia hasta América Latina y África. El riesgo de que China experimente un aterrizaje forzoso en los próximos dos años puede dañar aún más a muchas economías emergentes.

En cuarto lugar, el superciclo de productos básicos que ayudó a Brasil, Rusia, Sudáfrica y muchos otros países con mercados emergentes exportadores de productos básicos puede haber terminado. De hecho, sería difícil sostener un boom, dada la desaceleración china, la mayor inversión en tecnologías para el ahorro de energía, el menor énfasis en modelos de crecimiento orientados al capital y los recursos en todo el mundo, y el demorado aumento en la demanda que indujeron los altos precios.

El quinto y más reciente factor son las señales de la Reserva Federal estadounidense sobre la posibilidad de poner fin a su política de flexibilización cuantitativa antes de lo esperado y sus insinuaciones de un eventual abandono de las tasas de interés nulas. Ambas cuestiones han causado turbulencia en los mercados financieros de las economías emergentes. Incluso antes de las señales de la Fed, las acciones y los productos básicos en los mercados emergentes se han desempeñado peor de lo esperado este año, debido a la desaceleración China. Desde entonces, las divisas y valores de renta fija (bonos gubernamentales y corporativos) en los mercados emergentes se han visto golpeados. La era del dinero barato o a interés cero que condujo a una avalancha de liquidez en busca de altos rendimientos y activos –acciones, bonos, divisas y productos básicos– en los mercados emergentes está llegando a su fin.

Finalmente, si bien muchas economías de mercados emergentes tienen a producir superávits en sus cuentas corrientes, son cada vez más las que presentan déficits –incluidas Turquía, Sudáfrica, Brasil e India. Y estos déficits ahora son financiados en formas más riesgosas: más deuda que capital accionario; más deuda de corto plazo que de largo plazo; más deuda en divisas que en moneda local; y más financiamiento proveniente de flujos interbancarios transfronterizos volubles.

Estos países también comparten otras debilidades: déficits fiscales excesivos, inflación por encima de las metas y riesgo de inestabilidad (que no solo se refleja en la reciente agitación en Brasil y Turquía, sino también en los conflictos laborales sudafricanos y las incertidumbres políticas y electorales en la India). La necesidad de financiar el déficit externo y evitar la excesiva depreciación (y una inflación aún mayor) requiere aumentar las tasas de interés de intervención o mantenerlas fijas en niveles elevados. Pero el endurecimiento de la política monetaria debilitaría al ya lento crecimiento. Por lo tanto, las economías emergentes con grandes déficits gemelos y otras fragilidades macroeconómicas podrían experimentar una mayor presión a la baja sobre sus mercados financieros y tasas de crecimiento.

Estos factores explican por qué el crecimiento en la mayoría de los BRICS y muchos otros mercados emergentes se ha reducido bruscamente. Algunos factores son cíclicos, pero otros –el capitalismo estatal, el riesgo de un aterrizaje forzoso en China y el fin del superciclo de los productos básicos– son más estructurales. Por lo tanto, las tasas de crecimiento de muchos mercados emergentes durante la próxima década pueden resultar menores que en la pasada –algo que también puede ocurrir con los enormes rendimientos obtenidos por los inversores gracias a los activos financieros de esas economías (divisas, acciones, bonos y productos básicos).

Por supuesto, algunas de las economías de mercados emergentes mejor administradas continuarán experimentando un rápido crecimiento y resultados superiores de los activos. Pero muchos de los BRICS, junto con algunas otras economías emergentes, pueden toparse con un difícil obstáculo que afectaría duramente a su crecimiento y sus mercados financieros.

Traducción al español por Leopoldo Gurman.

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  1. Commenteddonna jorgo

    your statisice is bad for ALL .
    CHINA is slow 7.6% to 8% chine have inflation ..(high) this is bad ..corruption ..market ..problem ( needed liberation)
    but i think is good for the economy in china to have this slow'//// (manifactura ) be come very strong and will help very good the CHINESE economy (not only ) even a round in world .
    needed to have transparence for good investiment ....Russia is very good in economy with a little problem with gas (gasprom ) is not good this timing because USA trying to play role in EU ..they trying to dominated with GER ..price gas .with carbohydrated they take from USA very cheap ..''check up ''...
    Brasil is real in trouble ..why ? America doesn't like to have from south partner with Russia ..they are allways contrary ..So they bit with others ways ..(needed help)
    LISTEN if you wanted my opinion about the social -capitalism (this countries ARE ) they needed very good corporation btw ..and very good study about the grow manifacture -infrastuchture and export gas natural with deal ..(deal prices.. ) DON'T LET USA to dominated when the biger exporter in gas is RUSSIA ..
    they are smarter is good to be faster ...

    WTO ..is move very small .will be most slowly 2014-15 ..this is real trouble
    Michigan is example ..(they have much more )pension's for pay than workers ) ..
    nothing invest ..nothing budget nothing corporation btw others state insight the sate USA ..
    thank you nice article

  2. CommentedEnrique Woll Battistini

    Some thinking-out-of-the-box emergency criteria that might help prevent the Chinese economy from stalling in the mid or long term are: 1- Abandonment of the Command economy typical of totalitarian communism and adoption of an aggresive market-driven socially-focused inclusive economy. 2- Application of the bulk of the excess Chinese reserves to the acquisition of U.S. industrial equipment & technology and U.S. scientific, technological and administrative masters and doctoral education for a significant fraction their current and coming leaders. 3- Establishment of a private-public Partnership for Development between OECD member countries and developing countries in the Asia-Oceania North-South axis, operating through Development Consortia in each target country, controlled by the private sector, under Japanese leadership, and aimed at funding environmentally friendly direct investments, with both national and foreign capital, for profit, and bringing together the top Japanese broker dealer and other financial companies with their counterparts in the target countries, as well as target country government entities pertinent to holistic development with their multilateral counterparts to ensure the political support required for success. Of course, if one cannot see the Chinese ever accepting Japanese business leadership, or if one does not recognize an emerging long term international economic crisis, then more subttle or ingenious interventions, if any at all were deemed required by one, might suffice.

  3. Portrait of Pingfan Hong

    CommentedPingfan Hong

    "But many of the BRICS, along with some other emerging economies, may hit a thick wall, with growth and financial markets taking a serious beating":there are only five countries in BRICS, how "many" of them will hit a thick wall? Contrarian investmentors may take a cue from this article: it is probably right time to buy emerging economies.

  4. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    There is nothing common in the ensemble coined 'Emerging market paradise', and each one is 'unhappy in its own way'. India for example, with all its potential in demographic 'dividends', is now trapped in a situation of high-inflation and current account deficit where most of the States are entrenched in a fiscally irresponsible quagmire, while the polity is engaged in a bickering where no policy can be actually implemented on the ground from land acquisition to mining or starting of new projects where approvals and clearances are needed from scores of government offices. The common man is reduced to a residual claimant of state subsidies and the diminished dignity of crossing the Poverty Line is lauded as an achievement where the 'line' itself is deplorable, such is the rigor of a morally demanding subsistence level of consumption in the country.

  5. CommentedEdward Ponderer

    It behooves me once again to point out that the world is round and globalizing rapidly. Interdependence leads toward deterministic chaos and the greater and greater deviation from top-down first-order economic models and their relatively simple dynamics.

    The only "economist" that will eventually be able to "say" anything reasonably meaningful at any realistic detail will be Global humanity itself if it can establish the correct human mutually responsible relationships to obtain a homeostatic mapping across the globe.

    It would prove a sensory, reactive intelligence beyond our comprehension -- exactly what we need to handle complexity beyond our individual human ability to model it.

  6. Commentedsrinivasan gopalan

    As is his wont, Prof. Roubini has drawn a morose picture in the BRICs topography, drawing graphically the structural vulnerabilties they are plagued with. In an inter-dependent world ever since Washngton Consensus was foisted on the rest of the world, the fragilities of individual economy--be it a developed, developing or emerging or the least developed ones-- are too glaring to be brushed aside. State capitalism has become fashionable even in advanced countries such as in the US and now in Europe where governments must perforce bail out crumbling financial institutions on the pretext of "too big to fail". One wonders whether any simple nostrum most of the nations enjoyed before world economic liberalisation could now be the panacea for all the ills plaguing the planet! Economists the world over including doomsday prophets of Prof.Roubini genre revel in diagnosis of maladies than plumping for remedies to bring a whiff of comfort to millions of people trying to eke out a measly existence in the face of the severest economic challenges confronting them! Troubles and negative tidings always make a dismal reading but they are no substitute for substantive and ground-level action by governments the world over which is unfortunately found wanting in terms of coordinated strategy to pep up sentiments and revive growth impulses from langushing or getting extingusihed! G. Srinivasan, Journalist, New Delh, India

  7. Commentedchristopher tingus


    While I have little concern about China's resilience after sustaining itself these past 5,000 years and its leadership from the top down scientists and engineers while the west wallows in dismal academic achievement and overall depravity, led by the self-serving interests by those "entrusted" to serve other than themselves, my concern about China stems from a 27th May confidential report which showed the largest ever recorded breach of US military secrets, the designs for more than two dozen major weapons systems including the Hornet fighter jet and the Black hawk helicopter. For many years, myself and so many others cautioned American officials that cyber security must be a priority, China continues to this moment in reaching into American technology and heisting its way to broadening its scope in arsenal....

    Again, a WH so invested in its perverse and narrow minded perspective, divisive in every way with our White House Doors remaining Closed to our Kids who Deserve Better - We will never forget the "Benghazi Massacre" and the sooner we place Barry Obama and Hillary Clinton under House arrest for suspicion in breach of trust, treason in blatant lie shoulder to shoulder, this nation is being so misguided....

    God Bless our once beloved Republic which is now in the hands of tyrant whose intent can best be described by the words of Frederick Douglass: "Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress" -

    Christopher Tingus
    "Main Street USA"
    PO Box 1612
    harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA
    chris.tingus@gmail.com

  8. CommentedPaul A. Myers

    Excellent tour de horizon. What seems to be a worldwide phenomenon is that the slopes of all the economic growth potential curves have decreased or flattened out. The US is not experiencing a robust recovery from recession as it often has in the past. Europe has an even flatter growth function. And now many emerging market countries seem to be experiencing decreased growth for a variety of structural reasons.

    But the reasons for the growth slowdown seem to be different from country to country, or region to region.

    But almost everywhere it would seem that governments need to adjust the policy mix to aim towards higher potential growth by removing constraints, many of which are baked in politically. Tough work!

    It's like the entire world is caught in the "middle income trap."

  9. CommentedVidyabhushan Upadhye

    India's slowest GDP growth was registered in 2012-13 at 5%. Wonder where this 4% figure comes from? It may be due calculation of GDP after conversion to USD.

      CommentedZach Peterson

      The 4% figure comes from the IMF's World Economic Outlook Database, found here: http://bit.ly/13zKEVc - thank you for reading.

  10. CommentedFrank O'Callaghan

    Many good points as far as it goes.

    There is another set of structural issues. Chief among them are the twin issues of inequality and the specter of unemployment/underemployment. Growth needs a market that can spend. The huge concentration of wealth in the hands pf a few and debt forced on the many prevents this. The death spiral towards default is inevitable. Far better to redistribute the meaningless wealth of the minority to protect the stability of the system.

    The unemployment situation is a consequence of high productivity. We can produce more with fewer people every year. Innovation will not stop. We need to share the work by lowering the working week, year or lifetime.

    A serious structural crisis can be used to create a stable and sustainable world economy. It should be a more just one and a more equal one.

  11. Commenteddouglas ungredda

    As FDI inflows become pervasive in emerging economies, any move to curb credit expansion will exacerbate real exchange appreciation, making domestic prices ever more expensive , affecting employment and growth. This much like Sir David Hume s Price Specie Flow Mechanism on the Dollar, Euro or Yen standard. Foreign Reserves are to an economy what glucose or sodium does to a human body. In the right dosage they nurture growth but too little or too much of it could prove deleterious and even deadly.

  12. CommentedCarlos Relano

    The growth of Emerging countries is taking a beating because they are currently affected by the current recession experienced by Western countries and United States. Though United States economy is recovering, the recovery is not even enough to help the middle class recover from the pre-recession status.
    Remember that the middle class of United States and Europe is still the key and badly needed for the rest of the world to survive, recover and grow in a sustainable outcome. However, the middle class are not spending. That's because they are not making income. Because of that, China is trying to start a consumer-driven economy and add an additional 250 million population to sustain its growth. However, it is still not enough. That's because the other BRICS and other emerging economies is not doing the same.
    The best solution for this global recession is to stimulate the middle class. That means the distribute of wealth must be a priority. The distribution of wealth must be sustainable. That's because we can't have 1% control the the 40% of the wealth. We can't have the 1% control the big pie. We can't have the 1% get all the riches and leave the middle class and the low class into obscurity, hardship and in ruins.

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