Tapar los agujeros

MUNICH – Con dolor y aprensión, el Congreso de los Estados Unidos rescató a Wall Street para evitar un colapso del sistema financiero de los Estados Unidos, pero los 700.000 millones de dólares que se utilizarán pueden caer en un cubo agujereado y también lo miles de millones proporcionados por los gobiernos de todo el mundo.

Las entidades financieras de los EE.UU. que quebraron –o que habrían quebrado sin la ayuda del Estado– en 2008 tenían dificultades porque carecían de recursos propios: no porque nunca los hubieran tenido, sino porque pagaron demasiado de sus abundantes ganancias en los años anteriores a los accionistas, con lo que apalancaron excesivamente sus operaciones con el pasivo. Si no se adoptan medidas para aumentar los requisitos mínimos en materia de fondos propios para los bancos y otras entidades financieras, podrían volver a darse crisis financieras como la actual.

Es sabido que las entidades financieras anglosajonas tienen una elevada cobertura de dividendos. Desde una perspectiva europea, la sed de dividendos y la insistencia en metas de resultados a corto plazo que caracterizan a dichas entidades resultan a un tiempo asombrosas y aterradoras. Sabido es que los bancos de inversión, en particular, tienen un planteamiento minimalista en materia de fondos propios. Mientras que los bancos normales necesitan un coeficiente fondos propios-activos de al menos el 7 por ciento, lo habitual en los bancos de inversión es que funcionen con un coeficiente de tan sólo el 4 por ciento.

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