Christine Lagarde IMF Photo/Stephen Jaffe

La disculpa equivocada del FMI

PRINCETON – “¿Hace falta que me arrodille?” Fue lo que dijo la directora ejecutiva del Fondo Monetario Internacional, Christine Lagarde, en una entrevista con Andrew Marr, de la BBC. Lagarde se estaba disculpando por los errores del FMI en sus previsiones del desempeño económico reciente del Reino Unido y, más seriamente, por sus anteriores críticas al programa de austeridad fiscal del gobierno del primer ministro David Cameron. Ahora que esas críticas se transformaron en apoyo, Lagarde afirmó que el programa de austeridad, al generar más confianza en el futuro de la economía del Reino Unido, fue un estímulo para la recuperación reciente.

El pedido de disculpas de Lagarde fue inusitado, valiente… y equivocado. Al pronunciarlo, el FMI renunció a un principio económico que goza de mayoritario apoyo en el ámbito académico: el “hada de la confianza” no existe. Cediendo ante la presión del Reino Unido, el Fondo daña el único activo real que tiene: su independencia.

El FMI ya cometió errores predictivos mucho más graves sin pedir disculpas por ellos; por ejemplo, no fue capaz de prever ninguna de las grandes crisis de la última generación, desde la de México en 1994 y 1995 hasta el casi derrumbe del sistema financiero internacional en 2008. Nada en los pronósticos del FMI en los 6 a 12 meses previos a cada crisis indicaba que fuera a ocurrir algo fuera de lo normal.

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