El problema de los mercados en ascenso

LAGOS – La agitación financiera que en la primavera pasada afectó a las economías con mercados en ascenso ha vuelto con fuerza, a raíz de la “rabieta” de la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos sobre su política de relajación cuantitativa. Esta vez, el desencadenante ha sido una confluencia de varios acontecimientos: una crisis monetaria en la Argentina, cuyas autoridades dejaron de intervenir los mercados de cambio para prevenir la pérdida de reservas de divisas, unos datos económicos más flojos en China y la persistencia de la incertidumbre política y los disturbios en Turquía, Ucrania y Tailandia.

Ese minihuracán en los mercados en ascenso no tardó en transmitirse, por la aversión al riesgo de los inversores internacionales, a los mercados de valores de las economías avanzadas, pero no se debe confundir el desencadenante inmediato de esas presiones con sus causas profundas: muchos mercados en ascenso tienen problemas reales.

En la lista figuran la India, Indonesia, el Brasil, Turquía y Sudáfrica, apodados los “cinco frágiles”, porque todos ellos tienen déficits tanto fiscales como de cuenta corriente, tasas de crecimiento que están disminuyendo, una inflación superior al objetivo que se le había fijado e incertidumbre política sobre las próximas elecciones legislativas o presidenciales –o ambas a la vez– que se celebrarán este año, pero otros cinco países importantes –la Argentina, Venezuela, Ucrania, Hungría y Tailandia– son también vulnerables. En todos ellos se ven riesgos electorales o políticos o ambos a la vez, una política fiscal poco rigurosa en muchos de ellos y un aumento de los desequilibrios externos y del riesgo soberano en algunos de ellos.

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