¿Un euro desalineado?

CAMBRIDGE: Atrapado por una inflación creciente derivada de los precios del petróleo y un dólar muy fuerte, el Banco Central Europeo (BCE) ha vuelto a elevar las tasas de interés. Y lo hará de nuevo. El crecimiento es maravilloso; la inflación es mala. Un banco central no puede evitar una decisión: debe recuperar la estabilidad en los precios aun si ello significa sacrificar el crecimiento. Esto es lo que depara el futuro, a menos de que una recuperación del euro traiga un alivio repentino. Pero, ¿acaso es realista esperar que se recupere una moneda que ha estado sitiada desde que nació?

En el momento de su introducción, el euro alcanzó alturas impresionantes, como una IPO de alta tecnología. Pero la IPO pronto se desplomó. Desde que entró al mercado, el euro ha caido incluso más que el Nasdaq durante la venta de acciones de alta tecnología que se dio hace unos meses. Al igual que en el caso de las acciones de alta tecnología del Nasdaq, las preguntas que más irritan acerca del euro son las siguientes: ¿cuál es su valor fundamental? ¿Existe una mala alineación del euro con respecto a otras divisas (particularmente el dólar) y cuánto tiempo durará? Generalmente se supone (aunque nadie hace grandes apuestas) que el Nasdaq sigue conllevando riesgos muy elevados, mientras que el euro, tarde o temprano, habrá de regresar a la normalidad, lo que sea que eso signifique. ¿Podría suceder lo opuesto?

Una investigación reciente del FMI estudia las tasas de “equilibrio” derivadas de un modelo de valuación de divisas basado en factores de largo plazo. Las tasas de equilibrio se presentan en el cuadro siguiente, al igual que las tasas reales. Según las tasas de equilibrio teóricas del FMI, el euro está seriamente desalineado: tiene una subvaluación del 30% frente al dólar y del 18% frente al yen. (Véase tabla al final del texto.)

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