La ventana se cierra en la zona del euro

PRINCETON – Las autoridades portuguesas ofrecieron hace poco una oportunidad preferencial a los acreedores de su país: en vez de rescatar los bonos que vencen en septiembre de 2013, el gobierno ampliaría su compromiso de pago hasta octubre de 2015. El acuerdo se cerró el 3 de octubre y fue interpretado como una exitosa prueba en el mercado para Portugal. Las autoridades irlandesas han realizado operaciones similares recientemente, intercambiando títulos de próxima maduración por deuda de más largo plazo.

Estas transacciones resaltan una estrategia más amplia, de comprar tiempo. Ambos países buscan prolongar el cronograma de pagos por deuda en manos privadas para tornarlo más manejable, mientras comienzan a reducir su dependencia de los fondos oficiales de «rescate» provistos por la «troika» (la Comisión Europea, el Banco Central Europeo, y el Fondo Monetario Internacional). Los inversores privados están aceptando como una realidad que probablemente los repagos se prolongarán, ya que insistir en los términos existentes podría producir un agrupamiento insostenible de los pagos por los servicios de la deuda, con posibles consecuencias desagradables.

El éxito de esta estrategia presupone que, en el ínterin, el crecimiento económico fortalecerá la capacidad futura de repago de la deuda. Se estima que las relaciones entre deuda y PBI de Irlanda y Portugal alcanzarán un máximo de aproximadamente el 120% en 2013, para luego disminuir. Esta relación máxima y la trayectoria descendente subsiguiente dependen fundamentalmente de los supuestos sobre el ritmo de crecimiento económico.

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