¿De banco central a planificación central?

BERKELEY – Durante más de 170 años, se aceptó la doctrina de que no debe confiarse en los mercados cuando existe una restricción de liquidez. Cuando caen los precios de los activos, incluso los que son seguros, y suben las tasas de interés a niveles estratosféricos porque operadores y financistas en conjunto quieren más activos líquidos de los que existen actualmente, sencillamente no es seguro dejar las cosas en manos del mercado.

En un momento así, los bancos centrales deben intervenir y fijar el precio de la liquidez a un nivel razonable -hacer que sea un precio centralmente planificado y administrado- en lugar de dejarlo oscilar libremente en respuesta a la oferta y la demanda del sector privado. Esta es la doctrina del "prestador de último recurso".

Durante más de la mitad de ese tiempo -digamos, 85 años- se aceptó la doctrina de que tampoco debe confiarse en los mercados ni siquiera en tiempos normales, a menos que hacer eso derivara en una restricción de liquidez o en una burbuja inflacionaria. Así las cosas, los bancos centrales deben fijar el precio de la liquidez en el precio de mercado un día sí y un día no.

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