Nessun pasto gratis per l’America

BRUXELLES – Da decenni il mondo si lamenta del ruolo rivestito dal dollaro come moneta di riserva globale perché conferisce agli Stati Uniti un «privilegio esorbitante», termine solitamente attribuito a Charles de Gaulle ma in realtà coniato dal suo ministro delle Finanze, Valery Giscard d’Estaing. Fino a quando i tassi di cambio venivano fissati secondo il sistema di Bretton Woods, la natura di questo privilegio era chiara: gli Usa erano l’unico paese a poter stabilire liberamente la propria politica monetaria. Agli altri non restava che adattarsi alla politica imposta dagli Usa.

Tale trend cambiò all’inizio degli anni ’70 con l’avvento dei tassi di cambio fluttuanti, che consentirono ai paesi più stabili, quali la Germania, di allontanarsi da una politica monetaria americana ritenuta troppo inflazionistica. Ma anche nel caso dei tassi di cambio fluttuanti, gli Usa detenevano un vantaggio: dal momento che il dollaro rimaneva la principale valuta di riserva globale, gli Stati Uniti potevano finanziare ampi disavanzi esterni a tassi altamente favorevoli.

Oggi il Tesoro Usa può ancora prendere in prestito somme illimitate a tassi di interesse stracciati. A dire il vero, il tasso di interesse sui bond protetti dall’inflazione è sceso ora a -0,5%, anche per quelli con scadenza quinquennale! Il governo americano viene quindi essenzialmente finanziato in termini reali attraverso il denaro degli investitori – un’offerta generosa che il governo sta accettando su vasta scala, nella speranza che incanalare tali risorse verso i consumatori americani favorisca la spesa delle famiglie e quindi generi più posti di lavoro.

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