Argentina se Recupera

Ya pueden verse los primeros signos de la recuperación de Argentina. Para muchas personas, lo que pasó y lo que está pasando allá parece un misterio. Abandonar la "convertibilidad", es decir, un sistema de tasa de cambio fija, suponía ser un desastre, y lo fue. La producción cayó y el desempleo se incrementó dramáticamente. El temor a tales costos, en combinación con los paquetes de rescate del FMI, impidieron que Argentina abandonara su junta monetaria incluso mucho tiempo después de que estuviese claro que el sistema era insostenible. Esta necedad empeoró todo cuando las cosas tocaron fondo.

Pero lo que mantuvo a los argentinos casados con un sistema que no podía funcionar fue principalmente el miedo a la hiperinflación. Durante mi visita a Buenos Aires, las personas a las que pregunté por qué Argentina insistía en tal locura económica me dieron siempre la misma respuesta: "Sí, cuando Brasil dejó su indexación su inflación se mantuvo moderada; pero Brasil es Brasil, y esto es Argentina". La falta de confianza que la gente de Argentina tenía en sus instituciones y en su habilidad para arreglárselas sin los grilletes de la convertibilidad era casi una cuestión de orgullo.

La temida hiperinflación no se ha materializado hasta ahora. Sin duda, la inflación normal asociada con los fuertes incrementos que siempre sufren los precios de las importaciones después de las devaluaciones severas sí ha estado presente, pero más que generar una espiral de alzas de precios, las tasas de inflación parecen abatirse. Aparentemente, Argentina está preparada para ser incluída en la larga lista de países -Brasil, Corea, Rusia, Tailandia e Indonesia- que enfrentaron las devaluaciones sin una inflación aplastante.

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