¿Fracasó el capitalismo?

NUEVA YORK – Hace cinco años la agencia de calificaciones Standard & Poor’s mantuvo la calificación de grado de inversión «A» para Lehman Brothers hasta seis días antes de que colapsara. Moody’s esperó aún más: redujo la calificación de Lehman un día laborable antes de su derrumbe. ¿Cómo es posible que reputadas agencias de calificación –y bancos de inversión– se equivoquen tanto en sus evaluaciones?

Los reguladores, banqueros y agencias de calificación son en gran parte culpables de la crisis. Pero esta cuasidebacle no fue tanto un fracaso del capitalismo como un fracaso de la capacidad de los modelos económicos contemporáneos para comprender el rol y el funcionamiento de los mercados financieros –y, en términos más amplios, la inestabilidad– en las economías capitalistas.

Estos modelos apuntalaron con supuesta cientificidad decisiones de política e innovaciones financieras que aumentaron en gran medida las probabilidades –y tal vez tornaron inevitable– la peor crisis desde la Gran Depresión. Después del colapso de Lehman el expresidente de la Reserva Federal, Alan Greenspan, declaró ante el Congreso estadounidense que había «encontrado un defecto» en la ideología que propone que el interés personal protegería a la sociedad contra los excesos del sistema financiero. Pero el daño ya estaba hecho.

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