Quella sensazione di stallo

NEW YORK – Malgrado la serie di eventi ad alto impatto e a bassa probabilità che hanno colpito l’economia globale nel 2011, i mercati finanziari hanno continuato a crescere felicemente fino a un mese fa. L’anno è iniziato con il rincaro dei prezzi relativi ai generi alimentari, al petrolio e alle materie prime, che ha dato vita allo spettro dell’alta inflazione. Poi sono scoppiate le violente rivolte nel Medio Oriente, che hanno ulteriormente spinto al rialzo i prezzi del petrolio. In seguito è arrivato il terribile terremoto del Giappone, che ha arrecato gravi danni sia all’economia di questo paese che alle catene di distribuzione globali. Infine Grecia, Irlanda e Portogallo hanno perso l’accesso ai mercati del credito, rendendo necessari pacchetti di salvataggio ad opera del Fondo monetario internazionale e dell’Unione europea.

Ma c’è dell’altro. Sebbene la Grecia fosse stata salvata un anno fa, il Piano A è fallito miseramente. Il paese ellenico avrà bisogno di un altro salvataggio ufficiale – o di un intervento da parte dei creditori privati, opzione che sta alimentando un acceso dibattito tra policymaker europei.

Allo stesso modo, i timori sugli insostenibili deficit fiscali dell’America sono sfociati in terribili lotte politiche intestine, che hanno quasi portato a un collasso del governo. Si profila una battaglia simile sul “tetto del debito” americano che, se lasciata irrisolta, introdurrà il rischio di un default “tecnico” sul debito pubblico americano.

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