helicopters John Moore/Getty Images

Mejor no tirar dinero del helicóptero

MÚNICH – A pesar de años de política monetaria expansiva, el Banco Central Europeo no pudo cumplir su meta de regresar a una inflación “inferior pero cercana al 2%”. Y es improbable que vayan a cambiarlo las últimas medidas: tipo de interés nulo para las principales operaciones de refinanciación del BCE; un aumento de las compras mensuales de activos, de 60 000 millones de euros (67 000 millones de dólares) a 80 000 millones de euros; y una tasa incluso menor para los depósitos, del −0,40%. Por eso algunos economistas piden al BCE que vaya más lejos y empiece a “arrojar dinero desde el helicóptero”: es decir, financiar el consumo privado mediante emisión monetaria.

Esta idea se origina en los debates en torno del monetarismo en los sesenta. Se decía entonces que a los bancos centrales nunca les faltarán medios para estimular la demanda agregada y la inflación si están dispuestos a apelar a medidas radicales. Pero lo que en aquel tiempo era una noción teórica ahora parece una posibilidad concreta.

En la práctica, se implementaría entregando una suma fija de dinero a las familias, o vales de consumo para todos, con financiación exclusiva del banco central. A los gobiernos o bancos comerciales a cargo de distribuir el dinero se les acreditaría un depósito o se les daría efectivo, pero sin crear una contrapartida en la columna de activos del banco central, lo que implica reducir su patrimonio, a menos que este realice (venda) reservas de revaluación incluidas en el balance.

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