Corriendo en banda

SANTIAGO – En Chile, un multimillonario con estudios en Harvard llega a la presidencia prometiendo reformas que aumentarían la productividad y la competencia. Luego de que asuma el mando en 2010, la economía se recupera rápidamente de la crisis mundial, se crean empleos, y la expansión económica continúa hasta hace poco tiempo. El multimillonario, que nunca le ha quitado el cuerpo a la publicidad, se atribuye el éxito.

Según Sebastián Piñera, quien dejó la presidencia el 11 de marzo de este año, Chile es un ejemplo de reformas pro-mercado. Pero está equivocado. La economía chilena efectivamente ha crecido, y nadie que tenga el corazón bien puesto puede dejar de alegrarse por ello, pero este crecimiento poco tiene que ver con las políticas del ex mandatario. Aún más, la expansión económica está resultando ser insostenible, y dentro de poco los chilenos comenzarán a sentir las consecuencias del hecho de que Piñera no haya puesto en práctica las reformas que una vez prometió.

Chile fue golpeado duramente por la crisis financiera mundial de 2008-2009. Los préstamos extranjeros se desvanecieron y colapsó el precio del cobre, la principal exportación del país. Pero en ese momento Chile se encontraba preparado para hacer frente a fuertes golpes externos: los superávits fiscales se acumulaban por ya varios años, la deuda pública era prácticamente inexistente y los bancos estaban bien regulados. En consecuencia, Michelle Bachelet (quien gobernó de 2006 a 2010 y acaba de reasumir la presidencia) pudo implementar un vigoroso estímulo fiscal para combatir la crisis, financiado con los recursos ahorrados durante el previo auge del cobre. El banco central, organismo autónomo libre de presiones políticas y administrado por profesionales altamente respetados, hizo lo suyo recortando drásticamente las tasas de interés.

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