Sólo sobreviven los débiles

TOKIO – El riesgo de guerras cambiarias y comerciales a nivel global está creciendo, ahora que la mayoría de las economías está implementando devaluaciones competitivas. Todos están jugando un juego que algunos deben perder.

Las tensiones de hoy están arraigadas en la parálisis del reajuste global. Los países con un exceso de gasto –como Estados Unidos y otras economías “anglosajonas”- que estaban excesivamente apalancados y tenían déficits de cuenta corriente ahora deben ahorrar más y gastar menos en la demanda interna. Para mantener el crecimiento, necesitan una depreciación nominal y real de su  moneda para reducir sus déficits comerciales. Pero los países con un exceso de ahorro –como China, Japón y Alemania- que tenían superávits de cuenta corriente están resistiendo la apreciación nominal de sus monedas. Un tipo de cambio más alto reduciría sus excedentes de cuenta corriente, porque no pueden o no quieren reducir sus ahorros y sustentar el crecimiento a través de un gasto mayor en el consumo interno.

Dentro de la eurozona, este problema está exacerbado por el hecho de que Alemania, con sus grandes superávits, puede vivir con un euro más fuerte, mientras que los PIIGS (Portugal, Irlanda, Italia, Grecia y España) no. Por el contrario, con sus grandes déficits externos, los PIIGS necesitan una marcada depreciación para restablecer el crecimiento mientras implementan dolorosas reformas estructurales y fiscales.

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