Cómo evitar la próxima crisis bancaria en Europa

Mientras las ondas de choque del desastre subprime de Estados Unidos siguen reverberando, hay dudas crecientes de la capacidad de Europa para manejar una crisis financiera de gran escala. Hay serias lagunas en la regulación bancaria –en Alemania, Inglaterra y tal vez en Francia- que han dañado la credibilidad de los sistemas nacionales de supervisión. Pero esto es sólo parte del problema. La Unión Europea sigue muy mal preparada para manejar crisis que aún no han sucedido: las crisis transfronterizas desencadenadas por la creciente interdependencia de los bancos de la UE.

La integración financiera de la UE empezó de lleno en los años ochenta, y la Comisión Europea y el Consejo Europeo hicieron grandes avances en la reforma del sector financiero. Entre los puntos importantes estuvieron las decisiones en 1986-1988 de eliminar todas las restricciones a los flujos transfronterizos de capital y la puesta en marcha en 1999 de un plan de acción legislativo sobre servicios financieros. Se introdujo el euro, que rápidamente se convirtió en la segunda moneda del mundo, después del dólar.

Tal vez menos notoria, la decisión de adoptar las Normas Internacionales de Información Financiera en 2000-2002 fue el inicio de un cambio extraordinario hacia la armonización global de las normas de contabilidad. Mientras tanto, la firme defensa por parte de la Comisión de la competencia en el sector bancario –particularmente en Portugal, Alemania, Italia y Polonia- acabó con una era de proteccionismo disfrazado de control prudencial; esto ayudó a fomentar la integración financiera transfronteriza a un nivel sin precedentes en las economías desarrolladas.

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