Chris Van Es

Triple amenaza para Europa

PALO ALTO.– Europa sufre simultáneamente una crisis de deuda soberana, bancaria y monetaria. Los graves problemas económicos y la presión política están castigando las relaciones entre los ciudadanos, los estados soberanos y las instituciones supranacionales, como el Banco Central Europeo. Arrecian los llamados a renunciar a la soberanía fiscal; lograr una dramática recapitalización del sistema bancario financieramente vulnerable; y para que Grecia y posiblemente otros miembros en problemas de la zona del euro renuncien a esa moneda (o para establecer una unión monetaria provisoria de dos niveles).

En este entorno combustible, los responsables de políticas están recurriendo desesperadamente a diversos vehículos –incluidos el BCE, el Fondo Monetario Internacional, y el Fondo Europeo para la Estabilidad Financiera– en un intento por contener el pánico financiero, los contagios y el riesgo de recesión. Pero, ¿están actuando los funcionarios en forma adecuada?

Las crisis de deuda soberana, bancaria y del euro están íntimamente vinculadas. Dadas sus importantes y maltrechas tenencias de deuda soberana de los países periféricos de la eurozona, muchos de los bancos europeos débilmente capitalizados resultarían insolventes si sus activos se valuaran a precios de mercado. Este desapalancamiento inhibe la recuperación económica. Y los grandes ajustes fiscales necesarios en Grecia, Irlanda y Portugal, que podrían incluso extenderse a Italia y España, serán económica y socialmente perjudiciales. La cesación de pagos probablemente iría acompañada por una grave contracción económica –el PBI argentino cayó el 15% luego del default en 2002.

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