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¿Qué hay de malo con las tasas de interés negativas?

NUEVA YORK –  A principios de enero escribí  que las condiciones económicas este año iban a ser tan débiles como las del 2015, que fue el peor año desde la crisis financiera mundial del 2008. Y, tal como ya ha ocurrido en varias ocasiones durante la última década, después de transcurridos unos pocos meses del año, los pronósticos más optimistas realizados por otros están siendo corregidos a la baja.

El problema subyacente – que ha plagado la economía mundial desde la crisis, pero que se ha empeorado ligeramente – es la falta de demanda agregada global. Ahora, en respuesta a ello, el Banco Central Europeo (BCE) ha intensificado su estímulo y se ha unido al Banco de Japón y a un par de otros bancos centrales en sus esfuerzos por mostrar que el “límite inferior cero” – es decir, la incapacidad de las tasas de interés de convertirse en negativas – es un límite que sólo está presente en la imaginación de los economistas convencionales.

Y, no obstante, en ninguna de las economías que intentan ejecutar este experimento poco ortodoxo de tasas de interés negativas se ha retornado al crecimiento y al pleno empleo. En algunos casos, el resultado ha sido ciertamente inesperado: algunas tasas activas han aumentado.

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