¿Cuán seguros son sus dólares?

CAMBRIDGE – Las autoridades chinas y los inversores privados en todo el mundo han venido expresando en voz alta su preocupación sobre si sus inversiones en dólares son seguras. Dado que el gobierno chino tiene una gran parte de sus 2 billones de dólares de divisas extranjeras en dólares estadounidenses, tiene buenos motivos para concentrarse en el valor futuro del billete verde. Y los inversores con tenencias menos voluminosas de dólares, que pueden pasar a otras monedas con mucha mayor facilidad que los chinos, tienen razón de preguntarse si deberían diversificarse en activos que no sean dólares -o incluso evitar el dólar por completo.

El miedo sobre el futuro del dólar es motivado por varias preocupaciones diferentes pero relacionadas. ¿El valor del dólar seguirá su tendencia bajista de largo plazo en relación a otras monedas? ¿El enorme incremento de la deuda gubernamental de Estados Unidos que se proyecta para la próxima década y después derivará en inflación o, incluso, en un incumplimiento de pago? ¿El crecimiento explosivo del excedente de reservas de los bancos comerciales dará lugar a una inflación galopante mientras la economía se recupera?

Sin embargo, si bien hay mucho de qué preocuparse, el resultado final es que estos temores son exagerados. Empecemos por el más factible de los desenlaces negativos: una caída del tipo de cambio en relación a otras monedas. Incluso después de la reciente recuperación del dólar en relación al euro, el valor del dólar ponderado según la balanza comercial hoy es 15% más bajo que hace diez años comparado con una canasta amplia de monedas importantes, y 30% más bajo que hace 25 años.

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