Inestabilidad producto de la rigidez

Todo el mundo quiere estabilidad económica y muchos son reacios a abandonar ahora lo que ayer les dio estabilidad. Pero tratar de obtener estabilidad mediante la rigidez es ilusorio. La estabilidad del sistema financiero internacional hoy depende de la voluntad de los países con tipos de cambio rígidos de permitir una mayor flexibilidad.

Tras la crisis financiera internacional de 1997-1998, muchos mercados emergentes –a través de la depreciación de divisas, los rápidos aumentos en la productividad, o ambos factores—quedaron en posiciones muy competitivas. Los países con superávit significativos en cuenta corriente acumularon grandes reservas y fijaron (o manipularon mucho) sus tipos de cambio para apoyar los dos primeros objetivos que parecían asegurar la estabilidad externa.

La ironía es que en la crisis de 1997-1998 un sistema particular de tipos de cambio fijos falló cuando el capital salió. Sin embargo, la acumulación de reservas funcionó mejor, de muchas maneras, de lo que nadie hubiera imaginado –los países descubrieron que podían resistir perturbaciones considerables y el crecimiento fue impresionante tanto internamente como a nivel global. Así pues, en unos cuantos años, muchos países llegaron a la conclusión de que sus tipos fijos podrían funcionar bien si estaban apoyados por reservas oficiales suficientemente amplias. Surgió un nuevo orden en el sistema mundial de tipos de cambio.

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