Capitalismo científico

PRINCETON – Para entender cómo nos metimos en nuestro embrollo económico actual, explicaciones complicadas sobre derivados, fracaso regulador y demás no vienen a cuento. La mejor respuesta es a un tiempo antigua y sencilla: la arrogancia.

En la economía matemática moderna, muchas personas del mundo rico llegaron a la conclusión de que por fin habíamos ideado un conjunto de instrumentos científicos que de verdad podían predecir el comportamiento humano. Se daba por sentado que dichos instrumentos eran tan fiables como los utilizados en la ingeniería. Tras haber introducido el socialismo científico en su tumba al final de la Guerra Fría, nos vimos rápidamente abrazando otra ciencia del hombre.

Nuestras nuevas creencias no se desprendían de algún nuevo experimento o alguna observación inesperada, al modo como se produce un auténtico cambio de paradigma científico. Lo propio de los economistas no es hacer experimentos con dinero real. Cuando los hacen, como cuando el premio Nobel Myron Scholes gestionó el fondo de cobertura Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), los peligros superan con frecuencia los beneficios (lección que no parecemos haber aprendido todavía) y, como casi todas las observaciones que hacen los economistas dan un resultado imprevisto, ninguna observación inesperada podría cambiar en realidad un paradigma económico.

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