El desenlace de la política monetaria expansiva de Europa

MÚNICH – El euro ha llevado a Europa a una crisis de la balanza de pagos, tal como lo hizo el patrón oro en la década de 1920. De hecho, existe sólo una diferencia entre ambos episodios: durante la actual crisis, se puso a disposición enormes paquetes de rescate internacionales.

Estos paquetes de rescate han aliviado las dificultades financieras de la eurozona, pero a un alto costo. No sólo han permitido que los inversores eviten pagar por sus malas decisiones, sino que también han otorgado a los países del sur de Europa con bienes sobreprecios la oportunidad de diferir una depreciación real, en la forma de una reducción de los precios relativos de sus bienes. Esto es necesario para restablecer la competitividad que se destruyó en los años iniciales del euro, cuando causó una inflación excesiva.

De hecho, en países como Grecia, Portugal o España, recuperar la competitividad obligaría a que estos países bajen los precios de sus productos con relación con el resto de la eurozona en un 30%, en comparación con lo ocurrió al inicio de la crisis. En Italia, probablemente, se necesitaría reducir los precios relativos en un 10 a 15%. Sin embargo, Portugal e Italia hasta el momento no han cumplido con tales “depreciaciones reales”, mientras que los precios relativos en Grecia y España han caído sólo en un 8% y 6%, respectivamente.

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