O plano infrutífero e problemático do BCE

BERKELEY – Estará a crise económica da Europa em mutação, uma vez mais? Se os receios da dívida estão agora a ser substituídos pelo perigo da deflação, como os dados recentes sugerem, o Banco Central Europeu deixou de estar apto para ela - e não há nada que sugira que esteja à altura da tarefa.

Os números são alarmantes. A inflação subjacente (o índice de preços ao consumidor após a exclusão dos preços instáveis da alimentação e da energia) na zona euro caiu para uma taxa anual de 0,8%, em Outubro, - o valor mais baixo em 47 meses -, enquanto os preços ao produtor caíram 0,5%, sugerindo que a deflação já está na forja económica da Europa. O crescimento anual da massa monetária M3, por sua vez, caiu para 1,4% em Outubro, seguindo os já sombrios 2% de Setembro, enquanto os empréstimos para o sector privado registaram uma contracção homóloga de 2,9%. Tudo isto torna notável o facto de que o melhor que o BCE poderia fazer na reunião de Dezembro era recusar-se a alterar os planos.

Então, o que é que um bom banco central deveria estar a fazer? Para começar, devia concentrar-se em manter as condições monetárias apropriadas e deixar de negociar a condicionalidade política com os governos. O mandato fundamental de um banco central é manter a inflação nos níveis adequados e não negociar reformas estruturais com países como a Grécia, uma tarefa que fica melhor nas mãos da Comissão Europeia e do Fundo Monetário Internacional.

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