Street signs in London

Le conseguenze politiche delle crisi finanziarie

LONDRA – Non credo di essere l’unico docente ad aver pensato, scegliendo l’argomento per una prova scritta da sottoporre agli studenti, a una domanda del tipo: “A tuo parere, la crisi finanziaria globale è stata causata prevalentemente da un intervento governativo sui mercati finanziari troppo massiccio, oppure troppo scarso?” Di fronte a questa alternativa, gli studenti del mio ultimo corso si sono divisi in tre fazioni.

All’incirca un terzo di essi, irretito dall’ingannevole fascino dell’ipotesi dei mercati efficienti, ha individuato nei governi i principali colpevoli. I loro interventi mal studiati – in particolare, le società finanziarie Fannie Mae e Freddie Mac, create per garantire i fondi per il mercato immobiliare americano, e il Community Reinvestment Act – hanno distorto gli incentivi di mercato. Alcuni si sono addirittura schierati con Ron Paul, politico statunitense della corrente libertariana, criticando l’esistenza stessa della Federal Reserve quale prestatore di ultima istanza.    

Un altro gruppo, all’estremità opposta dello spettro politico, ha attribuito ad Alan Greenspan, ex presidente della Fed, il ruolo del cattivo. È stata la sua famigerata riluttanza a intervenire sui mercati finanziari, anche quando il rapporto di indebitamento cresceva a dismisura e i prezzi degli asset sembravano aver perso il contatto con la realtà, a creare il problema. In generale, i governi occidentali, con il loro approccio soft alla regolamentazione, hanno favorito il totale sbandamento dei mercati all’inizio di questo secolo. 

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