Ajustes a los grandes bancos

LONDRES – Dos enfoques alternativos dominan las discusiones en curso sobre la reforma bancaria: la separación y la regulación. El debate se remonta a los inicios del “New Deal” del presidente estadounidense, Franklin D. Roosevelt, que enfrentaba a los antimonopolistas con los reguladores.

En la banca, los antimonopolistas salieron victoriosos con la Ley Glass-Steagall de 1993, que separaba a la banca comercial de la banca de inversión y garantizaba los depósitos bancarios. Con la eliminación gradual de la Ley Glass-Steagall y su revocación final en 1999, los banqueros triunfaron sobre los antimonopolistas y los reguladores, mientras que mantuvieron garantizados los depósitos de los bancos comerciales. Este sistema en gran parte no regulado fue el que se colapsó en 2008, con repercusiones globales.

Lo más importante de evitar otra crisis bancaria es solucionar el problema del riesgo moral –la probabilidad de que el que toma riesgos y está asegurado contra las pérdidas, tome más riesgos. En la mayoría de los países, si el banco en que el puse mi dinero quiebra, es el gobierno, no el banco, el que me compensa. Adicionalmente, el banco central actúa como “prestamista de último recurso” de los bancos comerciales considerados “muy grandes como para fracasar”. Como resultado, los bancos que benefician de garantía de depósitos y tienen acceso a los fondos del banco central son libres de especular con el dinero de sus depositantes; son “bancos que tienen casinos anexos” en las palabras de John Kay.

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