Descifrar a Bernanke

CAMBRIDGE – El presidente de la Reserva Federal, Ben Bernanke, ha encontrado dificultades para brindar un mensaje claro sobre el futuro de las políticas de la Fed desde su testimonio del 22 de mayo ante el Congreso estadounidense. De hecho, dos meses después, los participantes de los mercados financieros continúan confusos sobre el significado de su mensaje para la dirección de la política monetaria estadounidense y las tasas de interés de mercado.

Las declaraciones formales de Bernanke sobre dos políticas no convencionales de la Fed han sido claras. En primer lugar, la Fed busca brindar una guía relativamente específica sobre la evolución futura de la tasa de interés para fondos federales (la tasa por un día a la cual los bancos comerciales se prestan entre sí). En segundo lugar, la Fed está indicando las condiciones que la llevarán a comenzar a reducir su masivo programa mensual de compra de bonos y, eventualmente, a eliminarlo. Bernanke ha enfatizado que estas dos políticas van por vías separadas y responderán a indicadores distintos del desempeño de la economía.

El Comité Federal de Mercado Abierto (FOMC), compuesto por los gobernadores de la Fed y los presidentes de los bancos regionales de la Reserva Federal, ha acordado que la tasa para fondos federales se mantendrá en su actual nivel cercano a cero hasta que la tasa de desempleo caiga por debajo del 6,5 % y pueda esperarse que se mantenga en ese nivel o caiga aún más.

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