El legado mundial de Ben Bernanke

WASHINGTON, DC – El mundo aún está tratando de asimilar el legado mixto de Alan Greenspan como presidente de la Junta de Gobernadores de la Reserva Federal estadounidense, de 1987 a 2006. Así pues, es demasiado temprano para evaluar si su sucesor, que está por concluir su periodo, Ben Bernanke, pasará al patíbulo o al pedestal de la historia. Sin embargo, no debería pasarse por alto el papel internacional que la Reserva y Bernanke tuvieron durante el mandato de este último –época en la que la falta de dinamismo económico interno se tradujo en un liderazgo mundial de los Estados Unidos relativamente inefectivo.

En estos cinco últimos abrumadores años de crisis, la Reserva ha afectado a la economía mundial de dos maneras: mediante su política hiperactiva de compra de activos a largo plazo –la llamada facilitación cuantitativa (QE, por sus siglas en inglés) – así como con su casi desapercibida participación como proveedor de liquidez internacional. Consideremos cada una de ellas.

Cualquiera que haya sido el impacto de la QE sobre la economía estadounidense, el impacto para el resto del mundo ha sido en general benigno. La primera ronda de QE fue claramente benéfica porque minimizó, o incluso eliminó el riesgo de contagio de una depresión global después del colapso de Lehman Brothers en 2008.

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