La esterilización monetaria de China

BEIJING – Poco después del anuncio que hiciera la Reserva Federal estadounidense de una segunda ronda de facilitación cuantitativa (conocida como FC2), el Banco Popular de China (BPC) o Banco Central de China, anunció dos aumentos de 0.5 puntos porcentuales en el coeficiente de reserva obligatoria de los depósitos bancarios (RRR por sus siglas en inglés). El RRR ahora es de 18.5%, un máximo histórico, incluso en términos globales.

Mientras que la Reserva tiene planes de inyectar más dinero en la economía de los Estados Unidos, el BPC está tratando de reducir la cantidad de dinero en circulación en China. El dinero que utilizan los bancos comerciales para cumplir el RRR, que se mantiene en cuentas en el BPC, ya no puede ser extendido en forma de créditos. Como resultado, hay una cantidad récord de dinero que ahora está congelado o inactivo en China.

Es comprensible el deseo de la Reserva de impulsar la demanda mientras que la economía estadounidense siga en recesión. Sin embargo, ¿por qué el BPC ha endurecido tanto la política monetaria? La economía China no se está sobrecalentando. El crecimiento sigue siendo alto, aproximadamente 10% anual, aunque ha empezado a moderarse. Aunque la inflación causa inquietud –pues aumentó interanualmente 4.4% en octubre, en comparación con el 3.6% en septiembre a - ello no puede explicar por qué el BPC incrementó tres veces el RRR a principios de año, cuando la inflación era más baja.

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