Abolir el exorbitante privilegio estadounidense

NUEVA YORK – El actual punto muerto del sistema político estadounidense conlleva dos importantes implicaciones para el sistema monetario internacional. La consecuencia más conocida ha sido la profundización de la incertidumbre sobre el dólar estadounidense, la principal moneda mundial de reserva, y los activos del tesoro de EE. UU., supuestamente el activo financiero más «seguro» del mundo. No es sorprendente, entonces, que los principales inversores en bonos del tesoro de EE. UU., China y Japón, hayan expresado su alarma. Sencillamente, hay en el centro de la economía mundial un régimen político disfuncional que genera amenazas reiteradas de cesación de pagos sobre el principal activo de reserva del mundo.

La segunda repercusión es un mayor aplazamiento de las reformas de 2010 de las cuotas y el gobierno del FMI, que duplicarían las contribuciones de los países miembros y aumentarían modestamente el poder de voto de las principales economías emergentes. Antes de ser aprobada por la Junta del FMI en diciembre de 2010, la reforma consensuada en la cumbre de Seúl del G-20 había sido aclamada como un importantísimo avance «histórico». Pero la historia se estancó sin la aprobación de EE. UU., que cuenta con un verdadero poder de veto sobre las principales decisiones del FMI.

La amenaza de una cesación de pagos estadounidense bien puede concluir con un acuerdo político para aumentar el tope al endeudamiento del gobierno de EE. UU., como ocurrió en 2011. Pero, sea cual sea el resultado, el último episodio pone muy en claro que nuestro mundo globalizado merece un sistema monetario internacional mejor que el «no sistema» actual, desarrollado en forma ad hoc después del colapso de los acuerdos iniciales de Bretton Woods a principios de la década de 1970.

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