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Nuevas reglas de juego monetarias

NUEVA DELHI – El mundo se enfrenta a una situación cada vez más peligrosa. Tanto las economías avanzadas como las emergentes necesitan crecer para aliviar tensiones políticas internas. Pero pocas lo están haciendo. Si los gobiernos responden con políticas que busquen desviar crecimiento de otros países, esta táctica de “empobrecer al vecino” no hará más que fomentar la inestabilidad en otras partes. Se necesitan reglas de juego nuevas.

¿Por qué es tan difícil volver a índices de crecimiento como los de antes de la Gran Recesión? La respuesta inmediata es que la bonanza anterior a la crisis financiera global de 2008 dejó a las economías avanzadas con una carga de endeudamiento excesivo que inhibe el crecimiento. Un remedio posible sería cancelar deudas para revitalizar la demanda, pero no es seguro que sea políticamente viable o que la demanda así generada sea sostenible. Además, puede ser que la recuperación también esté impedida por factores estructurales (como el envejecimiento poblacional y el bajo crecimiento de la productividad) que antes estaban enmascarados por la demanda a crédito.

Los políticos saben que el modo de resolver esos obstáculos es mediante reformas estructurales que aumenten la competencia, fomenten la innovación y promuevan cambios institucionales. Pero también saben que el costo de las reformas es inmediato, mientras que las ganancias suelen demorar y sus beneficiarios son inciertos. Como señaló Jean-Claude Juncker (entonces primer ministro de Luxemburgo) en lo peor de la crisis del euro: “Todos sabemos lo que hay que hacer; lo que no sabemos es cómo lograr que nos reelijan después de hacerlo”.

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