Desequilibrios globales sin lágrimas

CAMBRIDGE - Los médicos han sabido por mucho tiempo que lo que fortalece o afecta la salud no es sólo cuánto, sino qué comemos. Del mismo modo, los economistas han observado que para los países que reciben grandes flujos de capital, hay una gran diferencia entre los instrumentos de deuda y las inversiones de capital, tanto en acciones como inversión extranjera directa.

Así, mientras los políticos y expertos claman contra la enormidad de los desequilibrios comerciales, tenemos que reconocer que los problemas reales se originan en la excesiva concentración de deuda. Si los gobiernos del G-20 dieran un paso atrás y se preguntaran cómo canalizar una proporción mucho mayor de los desequilibrios en instrumentos de capital, el sistema financiero mundial que surgiría sería mucho más robusto que el que tenemos ahora, propenso a caer en una crisis tras otra.

Por desgracia, estamos muy lejos de un mundo idealizado en que los mercados financieros comparten el riesgo de forma eficaz. De los aproximadamente 200 billones en activos financieros mundiales que existen hoy en día, casi tres cuartas partes se expresan en alguna especie de instrumento de deuda, como préstamos bancarios, bonos corporativos y valores públicos. Sin duda, el mercado de derivados ayuda a distribuir el riesgo más ampliamente que lo que implica este cálculo superficial, pero el punto básico sigue siendo válido.

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