Reexaminando a Crise da Reserva Federal

BERKELEY – Ao ler as transcrições, recentemente publicadas, das reuniões do Comité de Operações de Mercado Aberto do Sistema de Reserva Federal dos EUA, realizadas em 2008, dei comigo a formular a mesma questão abrangente: A que se deveu a perspectiva míope do Comité de Operações de Mercado Aberto do Sistema de Reserva, enquanto a crise estourava em seu redor.

É evidente que houve quem entendesse a verdadeira natureza da situação. Tal como refere Jon Hilsenrath do Wall Street Journal, William Dudley, naquela época vice-presidente executivo do Grupo de Mercados da Reserva Federal de Nova Iorque, apresentou os resultados dos estudos dos especialistas que, de forma educada e convincente, procuravam que a atenção dos directores se concentrasse onde era realmente necessária. Também os membros do Comité de Operações de Mercado Aberto do Sistema de Reserva Federal, Janet Yellen, Donald Kohn, Eric Rosengren e Frederic Mishkin, bem como o Conselho de Governadores em Washington, captaram claramente a mensagem. Mas, e quanto aos restantes oito membros do referido Comité e os demais altos funcionários? Nem tanto (embora em graus muito diferentes).

Ao ler as transcrições, lembrei-me da longa história que remonta a 1825, e ao período anterior, em que a insolvência descontrolada de grandes bancos provocou pânico, uma fuga para a qualidade, a queda dos preços dos activos e depressão. Mas no relatório de meados de Setembro de 2008, do Comité de Operações de Mercado Aberto do Sistema de Reserva Federal, muitos membros auto-congratularam-se por terem encontrado forças para tomar a decisão incompreensível de não salvar o Lehman Brothers.

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