tightrope walker Don Emmert | getty images

El miedo como factor en los mercados mundiales

CAMBRIDGE – La extraordinaria volatilidad que experimentaron los mercados el año pasado está fuertemente vinculada con riesgos e incertidumbres genuinos, debidos a factores como el crecimiento chino, los bancos europeos y el exceso de oferta de petróleo. En los dos primeros meses de este año, muchos inversores entraron en pánico al considerar la posibilidad de que hasta Estados Unidos, el país con la historia de crecimiento más reconfortante, estuviese a punto de caer en recesión. De hecho, el 21 % los expertos que participan en la encuesta mensual del Wall Street Journal creían que la recesión estaba a la vuelta de la esquina.

No negaré que existen riesgos. Un golpe lo suficientemente grande al crecimiento de China o al sistema financiero europeo ciertamente podría convertir el lento crecimiento de la economía mundial en recesión. Una idea aún más aterradora es que a esta altura del año que viene, la presidencia estadounidense tal vez se haya convertido en un reality show.

Sin embargo, desde una perspectiva macroeconómica, las variables fundamentales no se ven tan mal. Los datos sobre el empleo y la confianza de los consumidores se ven sólidos, y el sector petrolero no es lo suficientemente grande respecto del PIB como para que el colapso de sus precios ponga a la economía estadounidense de rodillas. De hecho, el impulsor menos valorado del sentimiento del mercado en la actualidad es el miedo a otra gran crisis.

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