El nuevo realismo macroeconómico del BCE

NUEVA YORK – El Banco Central Europeo ha lanzado por fin una política de relajación cuantitativa (RC). La cuestión fundamental en este momento es si Alemania concederá al BCE la libertad de maniobra necesaria para llevar a cabo esa expansión monetaria con la suficiente audacia.

Aunque la RC no puede producir crecimiento a largo plazo, puede contribuir mucho a poner fin a la recesión que padece la zona del euro desde 2008. Los niveles sin precedentes alcanzados en los mercados de valores de Europa esta semana, en previsión de la RC, no sólo indican una confianza en aumento, sino que, además, son un cauce directo por el que la relajación monetaria puede impulsar la inversión y el consumo.

Pero algunos observadores, como, por ejemplo el premio Nobel Paul Krugman y el ex Secretario del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos Larry Summers, siguen dudando que la RC pueda ser de verdad eficaz. Como dijo recientemente Krugman, una “vorágine deflacionaria” está arrastrando hacia abajo a gran parte de la economía mundial y los precios en descenso están causando una ineludible espiral descendente de la demanda. El Banco Mundial y el Fondo Monetario Internacional parecen convenir al respecto, pues los dos han reducido recientemente unos puntos de sus pronósticos de crecimiento.

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