El problema del seguro insuficiente de las economías emergentes

LONDRES – En el transcurso de la década pasada, la política monetaria expansionista de Estados Unidos y el rápido crecimiento de China fueron los dos impulsores esenciales de los flujos financieros globales. Ahora, ambas dinámicas se están revirtiendo, lo que genera nuevos riesgos para la economía global -particularmente para los países emergentes-. Que ellos puedan o no hacer frente a estos cambios dependerá de si se han asegurado lo suficiente contra los riesgos que corresponde.

Luego de la crisis financiera asiática de fines de los años 1990, las economías emergentes comenzaron a acumular robustas reservas de divisas extranjeras para protegerse de los riesgos de un sobreendeudamiento externo. De hecho, amasaron muchas más reservas de las que necesitaban -6,5 billones de dólares, según el último recuento- asegurándose, efectivamente, en exceso contra las sacudidas de la balanza de pagos externa.

Sin embargo, no se aseguraron lo suficiente contra los riesgos del crédito interno -la principal amenaza para las economías emergentes hoy-. Después de que estalló la crisis financiera global en 2008, las tasas de interés se derrumbaron, alimentando auges de crédito en el sector privado en muchos de los mercados emergentes más grandes, entre ellos Brasil, India, Indonesia y Turquía.

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