Buildings reflected in water

El peligroso hundimiento de los emergentes

WASHINGTON, DC – Es hora de poner el ascenso de las economías emergentes en perspectiva. El veloz crecimiento económico que se produjo en gran parte del mundo en desarrollo desde inicios del siglo se basó en el auge de los commodities y la ultraexpansión crediticia. Pero por falta de reformas estructurales suficientes, la bonanza de los mercados emergentes no fue sostenible.

Hoy, la suerte de la mayoría de estas economías cambió totalmente. Rusia y Brasil se hundieron en serias crisis, con inflación de dos dígitos acompañada de una contracción del 4% del PIB el año pasado. Sudáfrica apenas crece. El espectacular ritmo de expansión de China se redujo a menos del 7%. A nadie sorprende que Goldman Sachs haya cerrado su deficitario fondo de inversión en los países BRIC (Brasil, Rusia, India y China).

De hecho, el futuro de los BRICS (con Sudáfrica) y de otros mercados emergentes se ve sombrío. Fuera de Asia, la mayoría de las economías en desarrollo dependen de la exportación de materias primas, lo que las hace sumamente vulnerables a variaciones bruscas de los precios. El derrumbe del petróleo redujo más de la mitad el valor del rublo ruso respecto del dólar estadounidense, y es probable que la caída no haya terminado (especialmente si la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos sigue subiendo los tipos de interés).

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