Paul Lachine

La consolidación fiscal al descubierto

NEW HAVEN –  Las tasas de interés reales de largo plazo –es decir, las tasas de interés de los bonos protegidos contra la inflación—han caído a niveles sin precedentes en muchas partes del mundo. Este es un hecho económico de importancia fundamental, puesto que las tasas de interés reales de largo plazo son una medida directa del costo de los créditos para operar negocios, lanzar empresas nuevas o ampliar las existentes –y ahora sus niveles van en contra de todo lo que se ha dicho sobre la necesidad de reducir los déficits públicos.

Es difícil interpretar las tasas de interés nominales —expresadas en dólares, euros, renminbi, etc.—puesto que el costo real de los créditos a estas tasas depende del curso que siga la inflación en el futuro, que siempre es desconocido. Si pido euros al 4% a diez años, sé que tendré que pagar el 4% de intereses sobre el saldo insoluto del principal cada año, pero no sé a cuánto equivaldrá eso.

Si la inflación es también del 4%, mi crédito será gratuito – y pagaré menos de cero si la inflación anual resulta superior. Pero, si no hay inflación en los próximos diez años, pagaré un precio elevado por el crédito. Sencillamente no se puede saber.

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