Quando acabar o dinheiro fácil

LONDRES – A partida do Presidente da Reserva Federal dos EUA, Ben Bernanke, alimentou as especulações sobre quando e como a Reserva Federal e os outros bancos centrais irão reduzir as suas colossais aquisições de activos a longo prazo, também conhecidas como flexibilização quantitativa (QE quantitative easing). Os observadores aproveitam todos os novos dados económicos para prever a continuação da QE ou uma aceleração do seu declínio. Contudo, é necessário prestar mais atenção ao impacto que qualquer dos resultados terá nos diferentes agentes económicos.

É incontestável a dimensão dos programas de QE. Desde o início da crise financeira, a Reserva Federal, o Banco Central Europeu, o Banco de Inglaterra e o Banco do Japão recorreram à QE para injectar mais de 4 biliões de dólares de liquidez adicional nas suas economias. Quando estes programas terminarem, os governos, alguns mercados emergentes e algumas empresas poderão encontrar-se vulnerabilizados. É necessário que se preparem.

Um estudo realizado pelo McKinsey Global Institute indica que a redução das taxas de juro poupou aos governos dos EUA e da Europa cerca de 1,6 biliões de dólares entre 2007 e 2012. Esta benesse inesperada permitiu o aumento das despesas públicas e a diminuição da austeridade. Se as taxas de juro retrocedessem às cifras de 2007, os pagamentos de juros relativos à dívida pública poderiam sofrer um aumento de 20%, mantendo-se constantes outros factores.

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