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El prometedor dinero fiscal

ATENAS – Al capitalismo occidental le quedan pocas vacas sagradas. Es hora de cuestionar una de ellas: la independencia de los bancos centrales de los gobiernos elegidos.

Se entiende bien cuál es el fundamento para encomendar en su totalidad la política monetaria a los bancos centrales: los políticos, al verse demasiado tentados durante el ciclo electoral con la creación de más dinero, representan una amenaza para la estabilidad económica. Si bien los progresistas siempre han protestado sobre que los bancos centrales nunca pueden ser verdaderamente independientes, debido a que su autonomía de los funcionarios elegidos aumenta su dependencia de los financiadores a quienes estos bancos centrales se supone deben mantener a raya, el argumento a favor de retirar la política monetaria de las manos de política democrática ha prevalecido desde la década de 1970.

Dejando a un lado la controversia política, la independencia de los bancos centrales se basa en un axioma económico: el hecho que el dinero y la deuda (o el crédito) son estrictamente separables. La deuda – por ejemplo, un bono gubernamental o corporativo que es comprado y vendido por un precio determinado en función de la inflación y el riesgo de incumplimiento – puede ser negociado dentro de un país. El dinero, por otra parte, no puede entrar en mora, y en cambio, es un medio y no así un objeto de intercambio (con excepción de lo que ocurre en el mercado de divisas).

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