European Central Bank Bloomberg/Getty Images

La independencia ilusoria del BCE

ATENAS – Un compromiso con la independencia de los bancos centrales es una parte vital del credo que se supone que deben defender los responsables "serios" de la política económica (privatización, "flexibilidad" del mercado laboral y demás). Ahora bien, ¿de qué se espera que sean independientes los bancos centrales? La respuesta parece obvia: de los gobiernos.

En este sentido, el Banco Central Europeo es el banco central independiente por excelencia: ni un solo gobierno lo respalda y se le está expresamente prohibido apoyar a alguno de los gobiernos nacionales de los cuales es el banco central. Y, sin embargo, el BCE es el banco central menos independiente del mundo desarrollado.

La dificultad clave es la cláusula de "no rescate" del BCE -la prohibición de ayudar al gobierno de un estado miembro insolvente-. Como los bancos comerciales son una fuente esencial de financiamiento para los gobiernos miembro, el BCE está obligado a negarles liquidez a los bancos domiciliados en miembros insolventes. En consecuencia, el BCE se basa en reglas que le impiden desempeñarse como prestador de último recurso.

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