Tiempo de experimentar

CAMBRIDGE – La economía mundial inicia el 2009 con más incertidumbre (e inquietud) que nunca en tiempos recientes. Aunque parece que la crisis ya se contuvo en Estados Unidos y Europa, sus repercusiones plenas no resultarán claras durante algún tiempo. A los países avanzados les espera la peor contracción económica desde la Gran Depresión. Pero, ¿cuánto durará y qué tan profunda será esta recesión, y con qué severidad afectará a los países emergentes y en desarrollo?

No tenemos respuestas a esas preguntas en parte porque las consecuencias dependerán de las medidas que adopten los encargados del diseño de políticas. Las respuestas adecuadas asegurarán que la economía mundial se pueda empezar a recuperar a finales de 2009. Por otra parte, si se toman malas decisiones de política, en el mejor de los casos se retrasará la recuperación y en el peor, habrá daños permanentes. La siguiente es una lista de asuntos a los que habrá que prestar atención.

¿Será la respuesta estadounidense lo suficientemente “audaz”? Barack Obama ha prometido que así será, recogiendo, al menos en parte, el famoso llamado que hizo Franklin D. Roosevelt en 1932, durante los peores momentos de la Gran Depresión,  para llevar a cabo una “experimentación audaz y persistente”. Obama tiene a su lado a un grupo de economistas de primera, lo que asegura que no hará alguna tontería. Pero las circunstancias de Estados Unidos son tan excepcionales que necesitará asesores que estén dispuestos a intentar ideas nuevas y que no se hayan puesto a prueba –en otras palabras, a experimentar al estilo de Roosevelt.

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