El enigma de las tasas de interés en Estados Unidos

Uno de los grandes enigmas de la economía mundial en nuestros días es el persistente bajo nivel de las tasas reales de interés a largo plazo en los Estados Unidos. Los macroeconomistas convencionales como yo vemos el déficit en cuenta corriente del país, que ahora es del 7% del PIB, y sabemos que a déficits tan grandes inevitablemente les siguen grandes depreciaciones de la moneda. Por ello esperamos una prima sustancial de depreciación en las tasas de interés de los EU.

Si el dólar cae un 20% adicional frente al euro en algún momento de los próximos diez años, las tasas de interés a largo plazo de los EU deberían estar dos puntos porcentuales por encima de las tasas del euro. Si cae 40% frente al yen en algún momento de los próximos diez años, las tasas de interés a largo plazo de los EU deberían estar cuatro puntos porcentuales por encima de las tasas japonesas. Si cae 60% frente a la moneda china, el yuan, en algún momento de los próximos diez años, las tasas de interés a largo plazo de los EU deberían estar seis puntos porcentuales por encima de las tasas chinas. Pero no vemos señales de eso.

El enigma no es sólo que las tasas a largo plazo sean demasiado bajas cuando se observan en el contexto internacional, sino que también son demasiado bajas cuando se observan en el contexto interno de Estados Unidos. La administración Bush sigue sin tener planes para cerrar las venas que ha abierto con su política económica medieval, que establece que sangrar al gobierno para obtener recursos sana todos los problemas económicos.

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