Regreso al abismo

NUEVA YORK – Una interpretación de las crisis financieras es la de que son, en palabras de Nasim Taleb, acontecimientos del estilo de un “cisne negro” (es decir, fuera de lo habitual): sucesos no planificados ni previsibles que cambian el curso de la Historia. Pero, en ni nuevo libro sobre las crisis financieras, Crisis Economics (“La economía de las crisis”), que versa no sólo sobre la crisis reciente, sino también sobre docenas de otras a lo largo de la Historia y tanto en economías avanzadas como en las de mercados en ascenso, muestro que las crisis financieras son, en cambio, acontecimientos del estilo de los “cisnes blancos, es decir, previsibles. Lo que está sucediendo ahora –la segunda fase de la crisis financiera mundial– no era menos previsible.

Las crisis son el resultado inevitable de una acumulación de riesgos y vulnerabilidades macroeconómicos, financieros y de políticas: burbujas de activos financieros, asunción de riesgo excesivo y apalancamiento, auges crediticios, relajación monetaria, falta de supervisión y regulación apropiadas del sistema financiero, codicia e inversiones arriesgadas por parte de los bancos y otras entidades financieras.

La Historia indica también que las crisis financieras suelen modificarse con el tiempo. Las crisis como las que hemos padecido recientemente se debieron inicialmente a una deuda y un apalancamiento excesivos entre los agentes del sector privado –familias, bancos y entidades financieras, empresas–, lo que con el tiempo propició un reapalancamiento del sector público cuando el estímulo fiscal y la socialización de las pérdidas privadas –programas de rescate– causaron un peligroso aumento de los déficits presupuestarios y del volumen de la deuda pública.

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