Yanis Varoufakis Brookings Institution/Flickr

Las dos monedas de Grecia

ATENAS – Imagine que un depositante en el Estado norteamericano de Arizona sólo esté autorizado a retirar pequeñas cantidades de dinero semanalmente y que confronte restricciones relativas a la cantidad de dinero que él o ella pueda enviar a una cuenta bancaria en California. Tales controles de capital, si es que alguna vez llegasen a producirse, marcarían el fin del dólar como moneda única, debido a que tales restricciones son totalmente incompatibles con una unión monetaria.

La Grecia de hoy en día (tal como ocurrió con Chipre en el pasado) se muestra como un estudio de caso sobre cómo los controles de capital bifurcan una moneda y distorsionan los incentivos empresariales. El proceso es sencillo. Una vez que los depósitos en euros son encarcelados dentro de un sistema bancario nacional, la moneda se divide básicamente en dos: euros en bancos y en títulos-valores (euros BE), y euros libres (euros FE). Repentinamente, surge un tipo de cambio informal entre estas dos monedas.

Considere un depositante griego dispuesto a convertir un monto grande de euros BE a euros FE (por ejemplo, para pagar gastos médicos en el extranjero, o para pagar una deuda empresarial a una entidad no-griega). Asumiendo que tal depositante encuentre a alguien que posea euros FE y que dicha persona esté dispuesta a comprar sus euros BE, surge una significativa tasa de cambio entre euros BE y euros FE, misma que varía de acuerdo con el tamaño de la transacción, la urgencia que tienen los poseedores de euros BE, y la duración esperada de los controles de capital.

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