¿Tienen los bancos centrales una estrategia de salida?

SINGAPUR – Un año después de que comenzara la crisis financiera mundial, varios bancos centrales fundamentales siguen extraordinariamente expuestos con los precarios sectores financieros privados de sus países. Hasta ahora, la estrategia de mantener los sistemas bancarios intubados con el crédito a corto plazo garantizado con cargo a  los contribuyentes ha sido lógico, pero tarde o temprano los bancos centrales deben desconectarlos. De lo contrario, acabarán, a su vez, en el servicio de cuidados intensivos, cuando las pérdidas por créditos fallidos inunden sus balances.

La idea de que las grandes economías del mundo afrontan simplemente un pánico a corto plazo parece cada vez menos sostenible. En cambio, está resultando patente que, después de un período de beneficios y crecimiento apoteósicos, el sector financiero debe pasar ahora por un período de consolidación y recortes. Hay que permitir que los bancos débiles quiebren o se fusionen con otros (y se pague a los depositantes corrientes con fondos estatales de seguros) para que surjan bancos fuertes con un nuevo vigor.

Si ése es el diagnóstico correcto de la “crisis financiera”, los intentos de bloquear una dinámica normal y sana sólo servirán en última instancia para prolongar y exacerbar el problema. No permitir la necesaria consolidación equivale a debilitar los mercados de crédito, no a fortalecerlos.

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