La hora de la verdad para Estados Unidos

Parece que finalmente los pesimistas que durante mucho tiempo han predicho que la economía de Estados Unidos estaría en problemas tendrán razón. Por supuesto, no hay alegría al comprobar que los precios de las acciones se vienen abajo como resultado de la explosión de las hipotecas no pagadas. Pero eso era muy predecible, como lo son las posibles consecuencias tanto para los millones de estadounidenses que se enfrentarán a problemas financieros como para la economía global.

Todo se remonta a la recesión de 2001. Con el apoyo del presidente de la Reserva Federal, Alan Greenspan, el Presidente George Bush impulsó un recorte fiscal diseñado para beneficiar a los estadounidenses más ricos, pero no para sacar a la economía de la recesión que vino después de que se reventara la burbuja de Internet. Ante ese error, la Reserva no tenía muchas opciones si deseaba cumplir su mandato de conservar el crecimiento y el empleo: tenía que rebajar los intereses, cosa que hizo de una forma sin precedentes –hasta llegar a 1%.

Funcionó, pero de una manera fundamentalmente distinta a como funciona normalmente la política monetaria. Generalmente, las tasas de interés bajas hacen que las empresas pidan más préstamos para invertir, y el crecimiento del endeudamiento se ve igualado con activos más productivos.

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