european central bank Bloomberg/Getty Images

¿Por qué se somete a juicio a los bancos centrales nuevamente?

LONDRES – En la última década los bancos centrales han pasado de ser héroes a villanos, y viceversa. ¿Comienza ahora otra caída de su reputación y sus fortunas?

En 2006, cuando Alan Greenspan se jubiló tras 18 años como Presidente de la Junta de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos, era difícil que su reputación fuera mayor. Había estado al mando de la economía de su país, esquivando cuidadosamente el auge y caída de las “puntocom”, y la amenaza potencial al crecimiento de los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2001. En su periodo hubo un fuerte crecimiento del PGB y la productividad. En su reunión final de la Junta, Timothy Geitner, entonces Presidente de la Fed de Nueva York, lo alabó en términos que hoy parecen embarazosos, diciendo que era probable que la altísima reputación de Greenspan aumentara en el futuro en lugar de disminuir.

Apenas tres años después, el economista y premio Nobel Paul Krugman, tomando prestada la expresión del sketch del papagayo de Monty Python, pudo decir que Greenspan era un ex “maestro” cuya reputación estaba ya bajo tierra. La opinión generalizada era que los bancos centrales no estuvieron lo suficientemente alerta en los primeros años de este siglo, permitiendo que se acumularan los desequilibrios globales, siendo benignos con una enorme burbuja crediticia, no prestando atención a las señales de peligro del mercado hipotecario y admirando sin espíritu crítico los productos novedosos pero tóxicos diseñados por bancos de inversión dirigidos por ejecutivos con sueldos sobredimensionados.

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