¿Es la independencia de los bancos centrales tan importante como se cree?

Alan Greenspan alcanzó un estatus casi icónico como gobernador de la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos. Así, a medida que su gestión llega a su fin y que el manto de infalibilidad pasa a su sucesor, vale la pena examinar si su legado será satisfactorio y qué podemos esperar del nuevo jefe de la Reserva Federal, Ben Bernanke.

A pocos gobernadores de bancos centrales se les ha prodigado la hagiografía que se le ha dedicado a Greenspan, sobre todo en vida. Pero, ¿qué es lo que hace que un gobernador de banco central sea extraordinario en nuestras sociedades modernas, las instituciones extraordinarias o los individuos extraordinarios?

En economía, rara vez hay algo definido que nos permita saber cómo habrían sido las cosas de otra forma. ¿Habría tenido la economía un desempeño mejor o distinto si alguien más hubiera estado a la cabeza? No lo podemos saber, pero hay pocas dudas de que quienes "administran" la economía reciben más crédito del que merecen y en ocasiones menos culpa.

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