World Bank president with Narendra Modi, president of India World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr

Escapar del Banco Mundial

FILADELFIA – Los elefantes blancos durante la reunión anual del Fondo Monetario Internacional y el Banco Mundial en Lima, Perú, fueron el Banco Asiático de Inversión en Infraestructura (BAII), propuesto por China, y el Nuevo Banco de Desarrollo  o Banco de Desarrollo de los BRICS, como se le llamó originalmente. ¿Funcionarán estas nuevas instituciones como el Banco Mundial o como un banco más convencional como el Banco Europeo de Inversiones (BEI)? Sobre todo, ¿constituirán instrumentos para promover –o paradójicamente constreñir– los intereses de China?

La realidad es que durante la próxima década estas nuevas instituciones no prestarán mucho. El capital desembolsado por cada una es de 10 mil millones de dólares; así pues, incluso con una relación de activos frente a deuda del 20% (el mínimo actual para el Banco Mundial), cada una podrá ofrecer créditos de solo alrededor de 50 mil millones de dólares en los siguientes diez años –que no es insignificante pero tampoco espectacular– a menos que obtengan inversión privada sustancial. Lo importante es que los principales mercados emergentes están aportando capital considerable en instituciones que estarán dominadas por China –señal del nivel de decepción con el desempeño del Banco Mundial y el FMI.

El Banco Mundial es como un barco viejo: en sus siete décadas de existencia, ha acumulado todo tipo de crustáceos –incrementos presupuestarios y costos de transacción–  en su casco, y poco a poco han amenazado su rapidez y actuación. En el año financiero 2015, el BEI ofreció más del doble de créditos que los otorgados por el Banco Mundial, pero con solo una sexta parte de personal respecto a este último. Medido respecto de sus flujos (préstamos desembolsados) o capital (créditos pendientes), el personal del Banco Mundial es excesivo y su presupuesto administrativo es mucho mayor que el del BEI.

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