Apuestas con el dinero de la casa

Mucha gente se pregunta por qué el dólar no se ha derrumbado todavía. ¿Tendrán los Estados Unidos que pagar en algún momento la factura de la serie de déficit comerciales en que han incurrido desde hace más de una década? Incluyendo el pago de los intereses de los déficit anteriores, la cuenta de 2006 nada más fue de 800 mil millones de dólares –aproximadamente 6.5% del producto nacional bruto de los EU. Lo que es todavía más sorprendente es que los créditos a los Estados Unidos absorben actualmente más de dos terceras partes del ahorro excedentario combinado de todos los países superavitarios del mundo, incluyendo a China, Japón, Alemania y los Estados de la OPEP.

Los extranjeros no están obteniendo grandes ganancias de sus inversiones en los EU. Por el contrario, generalmente obtienen mucho menos de lo que reciben los estadounidenses por sus inversiones en el extranjero. En una era en la que los precios de las acciones y la vivienda se están disparando, los bancos centrales de Japón y China tienen casi dos billones de dólares en bonos de bajo rendimiento. Una gran parte de ellos son bonos de la tesorería e hipotecas de los Estados Unidos. Este enorme subsidio a los contribuyentes estadounidenses es, de muchas formas, el programa de ayuda extranjera más grande del mundo.

Si la posición competitiva de los Estados Unidos es tan débil, ¿qué magia sostiene al dólar? La mayoría de los analistas sobrios han estado previendo una tendencia a la baja constante del dólar frente a las monedas de los socios comerciales de los Estados Unidos, sobre todo en Asia y los mercados emergentes. Entonces, ¿por qué no se ha dado todavía un ajuste mayor?

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