Euro coins

El club de las tasas de interés negativas

BRUSELAS – Durante gran parte de una década, los bancos centrales han logrado un progreso limitado en cuanto a la reducción de las poderosas fuerzas deflacionarias mundiales. Desde el año 2008, la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos mantuvo las tasas de interés en cero, mientras simultáneamente procuraba el logro, sin precedentes, de múltiples oleadas de expansión del balance a través de la compra de bonos a gran escala. El Banco de Inglaterra, el Banco de Japón y el Banco Central Europeo han seguido su ejemplo, cada uno con su propia versión de la llamada “flexibilización cuantitativa” (QE). Sin embargo, la inflación no se ha recuperado de forma apreciable en ningún lugar.

A pesar de sus luchas compartidas con presiones deflacionarias, las políticas monetarias de estos países – así como sus desempeños económicos – ahora toman caminos divergentes. Mientras que Estados Unidos y el Reino Unido están creciendo lo suficientemente fuerte como para dejar atrás sus políticas de expansión y elevar sus tasas de interés, la eurozona y Japón están redoblando esfuerzos con respecto a la QE, empujando la política de tasas de interés a largo plazo aún más dentro de territorio negativo. ¿Cómo se explica esta diferencia?

La respuesta corta es la deuda. EE.UU. y el Reino Unido han venido acumulando déficits de cuenta corriente desde hace décadas; y, por tanto, son deudores; mientras que la eurozona y Japón han estado registrando excedentes externos, lo que los hace acreedores. Debido a que las tasas negativas beneficiarían a los deudores y perjudicarían a los acreedores, su introducción tras la crisis económica mundial estimuló una recuperación en EE.UU. y el Reino Unido, pero tuvo poco efecto en la eurozona y Japón.

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