Modas, frenesíes y finanzas

BARCELONA – La crisis financiera, la crisis crediticia y la consiguiente contracción económica han dañado gravemente la credibilidad de los mercados, las entidades y los operadores financieros. Cada vez son más quienes afirman que los mercados se caracterizan por la irracionalidad, las burbujas, las modas y los frenesíes y que lo que mueve a los agentes económicos son prejuicios que afectan al comportamiento.

El reciente libro de George Soros sobre la crisis del crédito es un buen ejemplo de esa orientación intelectual. Sugiere incluso que la teoría financiera establecida está obsoleta. Esencialmente, esa opinión significa que la crisis financiera actual es la prueba definitiva de que los mercados no asimilan la información de forma eficiente. Si es así, estamos más próximos a la concepción del mercado de John Maynard Keynes como un casino que a la de Friedrich von Hayek de él como mecanismo maravilloso para asimilar una información dispersa.

Por ejemplo, la reciente subida de los precios del petróleo parece haberse debido a un frenesí irracional en los mercados de futuros. Los operadores de los mercados parecen haberse equivocado sistemáticamente en sus cálculos, haber confiado excesivamente en su información y haber reaccionado exageradamente ante los noticias. Sin embargo, yo creo que existe otra explicación par esos fenómenos, basada en el cálculo racional y la asimilación de la información por parte de las entidades y los operadores.

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