Pedro Molina

La ciencia económica en crisis

BERKELEY – El momento más interesante en una reciente conferencia celebrada en Bretton Woods (New Hampshire), allí donde se celebró la conferencia de 1945 en la que se creó la estructura económica mundial actual, se produjo cuando el articulista de The Financial Times Martin Wolf preguntó al ex Secretario del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos y ex asistente del Presidente Barack Obama para la política económica, Larry Summers: “¿[Acaso no] indica lo que ha ocurrido en los últimos años simplemente que los economistas [académicos] no entendieron lo que estaba sucediendo?”

Ésta fue la parte más interesante de la larga respuesta de Summers: “Hay muchas enseñanzas en la obra de [Walter] Bagehot sobre la crisis por la que acabamos de pasar. Hay más aún en la de [Hyman] Minsky y tal vez más aún en la de [Charles] Kindleberger”. Puede parecer obscura a los legos en economía, pero fue una acusación devastadora.

Bagehot (1826-1877) fue un director de The Economist en el siglo XIX que en 1873 publicó un libro, Lombard Street, sobre los mercados financieros. No cabe duda de que Summers está en lo cierto: en Lombard Street hay muchísimas enseñanzas sobre la crisis de la que ahora estamos recuperándonos.

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