Armas, drogas y mercados financieros

CAMBRIDGE – La crisis de las hipotecas subprime ha demostrado una vez más lo difícil que es controlar las finanzas, una industria que es al mismo tiempo vital para las economías modernas y la mayor amenaza a la que se enfrentan. Si bien esto no es noticia para los mercados emergentes, que han experimentado varias crisis financieras en los últimos 25 años, medio siglo de estabilidad financiera hizo que las economías avanzadas se volvieran complacientes.

La estabilidad reflejaba un simple quid pro quo : reglamentación a cambio de la libertad de operar. Los gobiernos impusieron reglamentación cautelar a los bancos comerciales a cambio de la prestación pública de seguros de depósitos y la función de prestamista de último recurso. Los mercados de valores quedaron sujetos a requisitos de divulgación y transparencia .

Pero la desregulación financiera de los años ochenta nos llevó a territorio desconocido. La desregulación prometía generar innovaciones financieras que mejorarían el acceso al crédito, permitirían una mayor diversificación de los portafolios y asignarían los riesgos a quienes estuvieran en mejores condiciones de soportarlos. Los liberalizadores argumentaban que la supervisión y la reglamentación estorbarían y que los gobiernos no podrían seguir el ritmo de los cambios.

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