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¿Los bancos de Europa pueden salvar a la UE?

NUEVA YORK – La sanción multimillonaria en dólares impuesta recientemente por el gobierno estadounidense al Deutsche Bank de Alemania por vender de manera abusiva títulos hipotecarios en Estados Unidos hizo poco para mejorar la confianza en la Unión Europea, que sigue acosada por un crecimiento económico lento, un desempleo elevado, desafíos en materia de inmigración y una creciente incertidumbre. Lo que el escándalo del Deutsche Bank sí hizo fue echar luz sobre una opción de último recurso -una suerte de "pase Ave María", en términos de fútbol americano- que, potencialmente, podría salvar al proyecto europeo.

A pesar de representar alrededor del 20% del PIB mundial, la eurozona no tiene un banco o una institución de servicios financieros en los diez primeros puestos del ranking global FT 500. Los efectos colaterales de un sistema bancario tan fragmentado y vulnerable son evidentes en la calificación relativamente pobre de Europa en otros sectores, como tecnología y energía, que son vitales para el futuro económico de los miembros de la UE.

Europa no tiene escasez de bancos: Alemania tiene más de 1.500 e Italia, más de 600. Pero muchos de estos son los llamados "bancos zombies", con demasiadas sucursales, escasos depósitos y costos de financiación que superan en exceso los de sus pares más exitosos.

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