Liberar a los reguladores

Los escándalos de contabilidad en las corporaciones (de hecho, la historia económica de la última década) demuestran que los mercados financieros globales necesitan agencias reguladoras que sean políticamente independientes. La seguidilla de crisis financieras que marcó a la década de 1990 ha tenido muchas y variadas causas, pero usualmente las disposiciones regulatorias disfuncionales agravaron los efectos. Cada crisis puso en evidencia marcos legales débiles e ineficaces (a menudo mantenidos así deliberadamente por los políticos), una supervisión inadecuada y dispersa, y políticas de gracia que sólo un lobbista podría desear.

Hasta hace poco, la independencia de los reguladores y supervisores financieros recibía sólo una atención marginal. Esto es sorprendente, dado que la importancia de la independencia del banco central se había planteado desde finales de la década de 1980. En los últimos 15 años, a medida que muchos bancos centrales se hicieron legalmente independientes de la influencia del gobierno, los resultados en términos de una menor inflación de los precios han sido innegables. Son pocos los que hoy en día cuestionan la importancia de la independencia del banco central para lograr estabilidad monetaria.

La independencia para los reguladores del sector financiero es tan importante como la independencia para los bancos centrales, y por muchas de las mismas razones. Tal como un banco central independiente ayuda al sector privado a tomar decisiones de largo plazo en base a un conjunto de reglas claras y estables, un regulador del sector financiero que sea independiente puede asegurar que las reglas del juego regulatorio se apliquen de manera consistente en el tiempo. Si los banqueros saben con anticipación que se cerrarán los bancos insolventes y que no funcionará hacer "lobby" para mantenerlos abiertos, asumirán menores riesgos y se reducirá la probabilidad de que sus actividades den origen a una crisis bancaria de amplias proporciones.

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