Aceitando las finanzas de Rusia

La situación global del petróleo es particularmente interesante en estos momentos. A alrededor de 30 dólares el barril, los precios siguen altos a pesar de que una economía mundial débil significa que la demanda es baja. La opinión que solía estar de moda, en el sentido de que la toma de los recursos petroleros iraquíes por parte de Estados Unidos doblegaría a la OPEP y haría que el precio del petróleo se desplomara, ha resultado ser una tontería. Incluso con mejoras en la seguridad, tomará cinco años lograr que el petróleo iraquí fluya plenamente. Ahora que la economía estadounidense se está recuperando con firmeza, el precio del petróleo debería permanecer alto, o incluso aumentar más, en el futuro cercano.

Así, el anuncio por parte del Ministro de Finanzas ruso, Alexei Kudrin, de que su país establecerá un fondo petrolero de estabilización, llega en buen momento. Significa que el fondo puede esperar varios años de superávits. Esto es tanto una oportunidad como un peligro.

Un fondo petrolero se debe tomar como un instrumento de estabilización macroeconómica, aislado de los flujos normales de ingreso. Actualmente, la mayoría de los ministros de finanzas del mundo buscan equilibrar el presupuesto según el ciclo empresarial. Los ingresos gubernamentales se fijan de manera que sean equivalentes a su gasto cuando la economía crece normalmente.

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