¿Podría el FMI haber evitado esta crisis?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hasta hace poco, la labor principal del Fondo Monetario Internacional era dar préstamos a los países con problemas de balanza de pagos. Hoy en día, sin embargo, los países emergentes prefieren cada vez más “asegurarse” acumulando reservas (y compartiéndolas a través de arreglos regionales). Como resultado, el Fondo debe cambiar mediante el fortalecimiento de su papel de supervisión y de su capacidad para vigilar que los miembros cumplan sus obligaciones de contribuir a la estabilidad financiera. Por ello, su incapacidad para presionar a Estados Unidos a fin de que corrigiera las vulnerabilidades del mercado hipotecario que precipitaron la actual crisis financiera indica que falta mucho por hacer.

En efecto, en su examen anual de la economía de Estados Unidos de 2006, el FMI se mostró extraordinariamente benigno en su evaluación de los riesgos planteados por el relajamiento de las condiciones para los préstamos en el mercado hipotecario del país. Señaló que “los deudores que corren un riesgo significativo de un aumento en los pagos de las hipotecas siguen siendo una pequeña minoría, que se concentra principalmente en los hogares de ingresos altos que están conscientes de los riesgos” y concluyó que “las señales indican que los mecanismos de crédito y de asignación del riesgo en el mercado inmobiliario de Estados Unidos se han mantenido relativamente eficientes”. Agregó que esto “debería dar tranquilidad”.

Igualmente, el problema no se mencionó en una de las principales publicaciones del FMI, el Informe sobre estabilidad financiera mundial , en septiembre de 206, apenas diez meses antes de que apareciera la crisis de las hipotecas subprime. En la opinión del FMI, “las principales instituciones financieras en los mercados maduros son saludables y han permanecido rentables y bien capitalizadas” y “los sectores financieros de muchos países están en una posición firme para hacer frente a cualquier desafío cíclico o corrección adicional del mercado que pueda presentarse”.

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