Los futuros opuestos de Estados Unidos

Hace poco supe algo interesante: los economistas estadounidenses de finanzas internacionales y los macroeconomistas estadounidenses orientados al análisis local de EE.UU. tienen visiones muy diferentes (de hecho, opuestas) sobre las consecuencias probables del enorme déficit de cuenta corriente de EE.UU. Los economistas de finanzas internaciones ven probable que en los Estados Unidos ocurra una crisis financiera, seguida de una recesión dolorosa y tal vez prolongada. Los macroeconomistas orientados al análisis local, en contraste, ven la inminente caída del valor del dólar no como una crisis, sino como una oportunidad para acelerar el crecimiento.

En términos generales, ven la situación de la siguiente manera: en algún punto del futuro, los bancos centrales extranjeros estarán menos dispuestos a continuar comprando grandes cantidades de valores denominados en dólares con el fin de apuntalar el papel moneda. Cuando terminen sus programas de compra de dólares en gran escala, el valor del dólar caerá... y caerá fuerte.

Sin embargo, según esta visión, a medida que decline el valor del dólar las exportaciones estadounidenses se irán haciendo más atractivas para los extranjeros, el empleo se fortalecerá y se reincorporará mano de obra al sector exportador, que vivirá una nueva etapa de auge. Será como lo que ocurrió en Inglaterra después de que abandonó el anclaje de su tipo de cambio y permitió que la libra se depreciara con respecto al marco alemán, o lo que ocurrió en los Estados Unidos a fines de los años 80, cuando el dólar se depreció frente a la libra, el marco alemán y (lo que es más importante) el yen japonés.

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