¿Adiós a las metas inflacionarias?

NEWPORT BEACH – Tres sucesos aparentemente no relacionados entre sí, que tuvieron lugar en un período de cuatro días a mediados de diciembre, sugieren que la banca central moderna transita un cambio histórico. Las implicaciones superan con margen los círculos académicos y de políticas. En la medida en que este cambio continúe avanzando –lo que parece probable– afectará el desempeño económico, el funcionamiento de los mercados y las valuaciones de precios de los activos.

Los tres eventos comenzaron el 12 de diciembre en Estados Unidos, donde la Reserva Federal, liderada por Ben Bernanke, anunció que hará mucho más que duplicar (a $1 billón) el volumen de valores en el mercado que pretende comprar en 2013 para estimular la economía. La Fed no dejó dudas sobre su intención de mantener el pie en el acelerador hasta que la tasa de desempleo descienda significativamente en EE. UU., al menos hasta el 6,5 % y mientras la inflación esté contenida o por debajo del 2,5 %.

Según la mayoría de los analistas, la novedad en el anuncio fue la voluntad de la Fed para explicitar los umbrales cuantitativos de su política y, por lo tanto, el rumbo futuro de su política monetaria. Pero mi lectura del anuncio de la Fed (y de lo que Bernanke dijo en la conferencia de prensa a continuación) sugiere que la innovación va más allá de esto.

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