El acertijo de los flujos de capital

ITHACA – En los últimos meses, las economías emergentes han experimentado el latigazo de los flujos de capital. Indicios de que la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos podría "disminuir" su alivio cuantitativo (QE por su sigla en inglés) llevaron a los inversores a reducir su exposición a los mercados emergentes, debilitando marcadamente sus monedas y causando que sus precios bursátiles se derrumbaran. Ahora que la reducción del alivio cuantitativo se ha pospuesto para más adelante, el capital en algunos casos regresa. Pero, con escasa influencia, mucho menos control, sobre lo que va a pasar después, las economías emergentes siguen luchando por descifrar la manera de protegerse del impacto de un cambio de política de la Fed.

Cuando la Fed sugirió en un principio su intención de reducir el QE, los responsables de las políticas en algunas economías emergentes protestaron, pero sus quejas fueron desestimadas por los funcionarios de las economías avanzadas, quienes los acusaron de quejosos crónicos. Después de todo, inicialmente ellos rechazaron las mismas políticas que ahora quieren preservar encarecidamente.

Sin embargo, las críticas de los responsables de las políticas en los mercados emergentes no reflejan una postura inconsistente; en ambos casos, el punto crucial de sus quejas ha sido la volatilidad. Han intentado erigir defensas contra los efectos potencialmente desestabilizadores de las políticas monetarias de los países avanzados acumulando reservas de monedas extranjeras y estableciendo controles de capital. Ahora les están pidiendo a sus bancos centrales que aseguren la estabilidad, por ejemplo, mediante un aumento de las tasas de préstamo a corto plazo.

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