El BCE y sus críticos

PARÍS – En el norte de Europa, especialmente en Alemania, la decisión del Banco Central Europeo de adoptar medidas de expansión cuantitativa (EC) ha generado una avalancha de críticas. Muchas son infundadas o incluso absurdas, algunas se prestan a confusión y otras dan más peso a potenciales peligros que a aquellos que son reales. Además, pocas se refieren a problemas reales acompañándolos de posibles soluciones.

A juzgar por las críticas, se podría pensar que tener inflación cero es una bendición. Si así fuera, hace tiempo que los bancos centrales de todo el mundo la habrían fijado como objetivo. En lugar de ello, todos definen la estabilidad de los precios como una inflación lenta, estable pero positiva.

Esto se debe a que la inflación cero tiene tres consecuencias muy negativas. La primera es que socava la eficacia de las políticas monetarias estándares (porque si las tasas de interés se volvieran demasiado negativas, los depositantes retirarían su dinero de los bancos y lo pondrían en cajas fuertes). Segundo, vuelve más rígidos los salarios relativos (por ejemplo, de trabajadores del sector manufacturero en comparación con los del sector servicios), ya que por lo general los contratos se fijan en euros. Y, en tercer lugar, eleva la carga de las deudas pasadas y hace aún más dificultoso salir de situaciones de crisis de deuda pública o privada.

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