China and US US State Dept/Flickr

China pone una trampa mental a los Estados Unidos

NEW HAVEN – Resulta difícil resistir la tentación de la extrapolación. Esa tendencia influye poderosamente en los mercados, las autoridades, los hogares y las empresas, pero los observadores entendidos comprenden los límites del pensamiento lineal, porque saben que las líneas se doblan o incluso se rompen a veces. Así ocurre actualmente al evaluar dos factores fundamentales que están moldeando la economía mundial: los riesgos relacionados con la maniobra normativa de los Estados Unidos y el estado de la economía de China.

La relajación cuantitativa o RC (el programa de la Reserva Federal de compras mensuales de activos a largo plazo) comenzó como un empeño noble: como un desesperado antídoto, muy oportuno y bien articulado, de la Reserva Federal para una crisis horrible. Siempre es peliagudo emitir hipótesis sobre un pasado no sucedido, pero resulta difícil sostener que las inyecciones de liquidez de finales de 2008 y de comienzos de 2009 no desempeñaron un papel importante para salvar el mundo de algo mucho peor que la Gran Recesión.

La combinación de mecanismos de financiación de productos concretos con la primera ronda de relajación cuantitativa hizo que el balance de la Reserva Federal se disparará hasta los 2,3 billones de dólares en marzo de 2009, desde su nivel anterior a la crisis de 900.000 millones de dólares en el verano de 2008, y se deshizo la profunda paralización de los mercados, arrasados por la crisis.

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