El riesgo y la recompensa de los mercados en ascenso

NUEVA YORK – Una definición de economía de mercado en ascenso es la de que sus riesgos políticos son mayores y su credibilidad normativa menor que los de las economías avanzadas. Cuando, después de la crisis financiera, las economías de mercados en ascenso siguieron creciendo intensamente, esa definición pareció obsoleta; ahora, con la reciente turbulencia de las economías en ascenso debida en parte a una menor credibilidad en materia de política económica y una incertidumbre política en aumento, parece tan pertinente como siempre.

Pensemos en las llamadas “cinco frágiles”: la India, Indonesia, Turquía, el Brasil y Sudáfrica. Todas ellas tienen en común no sólo deficiencias económicas y normativas (déficits fiscal y de cuenta corriente; crecimiento en disminución e inflación en aumento; reformas estructurales demasiados lentas), sino también elecciones presidenciales o legislativas este año. Muchas otras economías en ascenso –Ucrania, la Argentina, Venezuela, Rusia, Hungría, Tailandia y Nigeria– afrontan también incertidumbres políticas o sociales o de las dos clases a la vez y disturbios sociales.

Y en esa lista no figura el peligroso e inestable Oriente Medio, donde la “primavera árabe” en Libia y Egipto ha pasado a ser un invierno de descontento colérico; la guerra civil hace estragos en Siria y arde como un rescoldo en el Yemen; y el Iraq, el Irán, el Afganistán y el Pakistán forman un arco de inestabilidad. Tampoco incluye los riesgos políticos de Asia originados por las disputas territoriales entre China y muchos de sus vecinos, incluidos el Japón, las Filipinas, Corea del Sur y Vietnam.

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