Da Washington un segnale d’allarme per la Cina

NEW HAVEN – Gli Stati Uniti, è vero, hanno schivato un altro proiettile trovando un accordo sul tetto del debito all’ultimo momento. Tuttavia, con soli novanta giorni a disposizione per sanare la spaccatura ideologica prima che scoppi un'altra crisi, il debito americano si può paragonare a una bomba, la cui miccia è sempre più corta. Da un lato, c'è un disarticolato governo USA che sonda l'abisso, dall'altro c'è la Cina – il maggiore creditore estero degli Stati Uniti – che rischia grosso.

Il tutto è iniziato in maniera quasi inconsapevole. Nel 2000, la Cina deteneva una quota di bond americani pari a circa 60 miliardi di dollari, ovvero il 2% del debito pubblico degli Stati Uniti ancora insoluto, stimato in 3,3 trilioni di dollari. A un certo punto, però, entrambi i paesi hanno alzato la posta sull'onda della dissolutezza fiscale dell’America. Il debito USA è schizzato a quasi 12 trilioni di dollari (che salgono a 16,7, se si includono i titoli intergovernativi), mentre la quota cinese di eccedenza di debito pubblico americano si è più che quintuplicata, raggiungendo quasi l'11% (1,3 trilioni di dollari) nel luglio 2013. Insieme a circa 700 miliardi di obbligazioni cinesi del debito USA (Fannie Mae e Freddie Mac), l'esposizione della Cina sui bond americani – governativi e quasi governativi – per un totale di 2 trilioni di dollari è pesante sotto ogni punto di vista.

Gli acquisti di debito pubblico statunitense da parte della Cina, in apparenza illimitati, sono alla base del rapporto di co-dipendenza che caratterizza le due economie. La Cina non compra buoni del Tesoro per magnanimità, o per ergersi a esempio di ricchezza e prosperità agli occhi dell'America. Di certo, non è attratta dal rendimento e dalla presunta sicurezza di questi titoli, seriamente compromessi da tassi di interesse pari a zero e dal crescente timore di un default. E non lo fa neanche per compassione: la Cina non compra buoni del Tesoro per alleviare il dolore causato dalla politica del rischio calcolato attuata dalla controparte.

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