La Incertidumbre Crece en la Economía Estadounidense

CAMBRIDGE: La economía estadounidense está entrando a una etapa riesgosa. Las condiciones que permitieron su largo auge se están debilitando. Resulta tonto intentar predecir los cambios en el sentir general del público. Sin embargo, un buen razonamiento económico nos puede ayudar a anticipar la turbulencia económica que se avecina.

El auge económico de los Estados Unidos (EU) ha sido una mezcla de realidad y pensamiento voluntarioso. La realidad es que los avances tecnológicos, combinados con la flexibilidad y la dinámica de los mercados de capital y laboral, llevó a un rápido incremento en el crecimiento de la productividad y la disponibilidad de nuevas tecnologías. La vida en EU mejoró considerablemente en los últimos años; hubo mejoras en el sector servicios, surgieron nuevas tecnologías médicas, creció el acceso a la información y otras cosas por el estilo.

El pensamiento voluntarioso transformó las ganancias económicas en una firme creencia de que la riqueza está al alcance de la mano. La Nueva Economía, que es real, se convirtió en la economía "invencible" en la cual los riesgos no se toman en cuenta, las acciones siempre están al alza, las condiciones económicas mundiales son siempre benéficas y los excedentes en el presupuesto son eternos. El optimismo se manifestó de dos maneras. Primero, los mercados accionarios estadounidenses mostraron un alza despreocupada, brindando una riqueza de 8 billones de dólares en papel a los propietarios de cotizaciones estadounidenses en un periodo de cinco años. Segundo, los consumidores empezaron a gastar más gracias a su riqueza en papel, reduciendo o eliminando los ahorros que hacían de sus ingresos porque las ganancias que obtenían del mercado accionario eran suficiente protección para el futuro.

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