¿Pueden influir todavía los bancos centrales en los tipos de cambio?

LONDRES – El 16 de septiembre de 1992, una fecha que pervivirá en la infamia en el Reino Unido con el nombre de “Miércoles Negro”, el Banco de Inglaterra abandonó sus esfuerzos por mantener a la libra esterlina dentro de la banda permitida en el sistema europeo de tipos de cambio. Se ha mostrado que es prohibitivamente costoso sostener el tipo de cambio exigido de la libra esterlina, tanto para el Banco como para el gobierno británicos. En contraste, resultó ser muy lucrativo para George Soros.

Desde entonces, el Banco de Inglaterra ha renunciado a cualquier forma de intervención en los mercados de divisas. Además, el incidente sirvió para reforzar un consenso internacional en el sentido de que la política monetaria de los países debía centrarse en la estabilidad de los precios internos y dejar que los tipos de cambio flotaran libremente.

Después del Miércoles Negro llegó a ser sabiduría popular la imposibilidad de fijar el tipo de cambio y las condiciones monetarias internas al mismo tiempo. Según este punto de vista, en una economía de mercado con una moneda convertible y libertad de flujos de capital, el tipo de cambio no puede manipularse sin hacer los ajustes correspondientes en otras esferas de las condiciones monetarias. Estaba destinado al fracaso el intento de influir en los tipos de cambio mediante la utilización de controles de capital o la intervención directa en los mercados de divisas, en cualquier cosa que no sea en el corto plazo.

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