Imaginar la recesión

En los últimos meses los mercados mundiales de la vivienda, del petróleo y de los valores bursátiles han quedados sumidos en la confusión y, sin embargo, la confianza de los consumidores, los gastos en bienes de capital y el empleo aún no han recibido un duro golpe. ¿Por qué?

En última instancia, la confianza de los consumidores y de las empresas es en su mayor parte irracional. La psicología de los mercados está dominada por las imágenes públicas que tenemos en la cabeza día tras día y que constituyen la base de nuestras imaginaciones y de las historias que nos contamos unos a otros.

Las imágenes populares de desastres pasados, con frecuencia enterradas en lo más profundo de nuestra memoria, forman parte de nuestro folclore, pero de vez en cuando vuelven a surgir para inquietarnos. Como los mitos tradicionales, esa clase de gráficas imágenes compartidas encarnan miedos que están muy arraigados en nuestra psique. Las imágenes que han acompañado episodios pasados de confusión en los mercados están en gran medida ausentes en la actualidad.

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