Un plan de recuperación para Argentina

El presidente de Argentina, Eduardo Duhalde, ha estado solicitando con vehemencia apoyo internacional para reconstruir su país. Argentina necesita y merece esa ayuda, y tiene desde hace mucho tiempo los cimientos necesarios, en términos de capacidades (una población alfabetizada y bien educada) y de instituciones (una democracia federal constitucional), para el éxito económico. Sin embargo, el presidente Duhalde tadavía no ha especificado qué es lo que se debe de hacer para aprovechar las dotes positivas de Argentina.

Por lo menos reconoce que Argentina es la única responsable de las malas decisiones de política que condujeron al desorden actual. Nadie obligó al país a adoptar el consejo monetario que diseñó Domingo Cavallo, el exministro de economía, y que fijó el tipo de cambio del peso al del dólar a una tasa de uno a uno (no obstante, es claro que el FMI no debió de haber contribuído a financiar las operaciones del consejo monetario sin exigir ajustes fiscales cuando el país liberalizó su comercio exterior).

Como resultado de la paridad con el dólar, las tasas de interés de Argentina estaban determinadas en gran medida en los EU. Sin el acceso a herramientas económicas básicas como el tipo de cambio y las políticas monetarias, Argentina no pudo superar los profundos shocks externos de la segunda mitad de los noventa, cuando los precios de las exportaciones cayeron, el dólar se revaluó y Brasil, el principal socio comercial del país, devaluó su moneda. La única alternativa era una severa austeridad fiscal, para la que el gobierno nunca tuvo la suficiente voluntad política.

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