Favorecer lo evitable

Tal vez sea una excesiva volubilidad o quizás el resultado de la volatilidad financiera mundial en los últimos años –crisis en México en 1994-95, Asia oriental en 1997-98, Rusia en 1998 y después en el Brasil, Turquía y la Argentina–, pero los economistas estamos más preocupados por los asuntos monetarios y posibles desastres futuros que durante muchos decenios anteriores.

Este mes, el Banco de Pagos Internacionales (BIS), radicado en Suiza, ha sido el último en expresar su preocupación por los riesgos financieros que el mundo parece estar creando para el futuro. “Todos los países afectados por crisis financieras... experimentaron un brusco parón”, dice el BIS refiriéndose al pasado reciente. Después cita “los desequilibrios mundiales en las balanzas de pagos por cuentas corrientes”, en particular “el déficit exterior de los Estados Unidos”, considera algo “sin precedentes que un país con una divisa de reserva tenga un déficit de la balanza de pagos por cuenta corriente de esa magnitud”. En resumen, el mundo se ha vuelto “cada vez más propenso a las turbulencias financieras”.

El BIS sugiere la posibilidad de una crisis financiera que, con los Estados Unidos en su centro, empequeñecería por al menos un orden de magnitud todas las que ha habido desde 1933. Sin embargo, como reacción ante ese riesgo, el BIS publica las recomendaciones normales de los libros de texto. Los países cuyas políticas y economías están desequilibradas deben cambiar de políticas para restablecer el equilibrio: “Los países con déficit deben reducir la tasa de aumento del gasto nacional por debajo de la producción nacional. Permitir que sus divisas se deprecien en términos reales volvería más competitivos sus productos y también aportaría un incentivo para que la producción pase de los artículos no comerciables a los comerciables.

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