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Invertir en crecimiento sostenible

NUEVA YORK – Hoy la gran decepción de la economía mundial es la baja tasa de inversión. En los años que precedieron a la crisis financiera de 2008, el gasto en vivienda y en consumo privado fue el motor del crecimiento en los países de altos ingresos. Cuando estalló la crisis, los dos tipos de gasto se desplomaron, y las inversiones que deberían haber ocupado su lugar nunca se materializaron. Esto debe cambiar.

Después de la crisis, los principales bancos centrales del mundo trataron de revivir el gasto y el empleo recortando las tasas de interés. La estrategia funcionó, hasta cierto punto. Al inundar los mercados de capitales con liquidez y mantener deprimidos los tipos de interés del mercado, las autoridades alentaron a los inversores a impulsar una suba de las cotizaciones de acciones y bonos. Esto creó riqueza financiera en la forma de plusvalías, al tiempo que estimuló el consumo y (por la vía de las ofertas públicas iniciales) algo de inversión.

Pero esta política llegó al límite, y generó costos innegables. Los tipos de interés nulos o incluso negativos alentaron a los inversores a pedir prestado con fines altamente especulativos. Esto llevó a que la calidad general de las inversiones disminuyera y aumentara el apalancamiento. Cuando los bancos centrales finalmente restrinjan el crédito, habrá riesgo real de una importante desvalorización de los activos.

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