Las desventajas de tener la moneda de reserva

Desde hace décadas, el mundo se ha quejado de que el papel del dólar como moneda de reserva global le ha dado a los Estados Unidos, según la frase atribuida generalmente a Charles de Gaulle, pero acuñada en realidad por su ministro de finanzas, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, un "privilegio exorbitante". Mientras los tipos de cambio se mantuvieron fijos bajo el sistema de Bretton Woods, la naturaleza de ese privilegio fue clara: los Estados Unidos eran el único país que podía determinar libremente su propia política monetaria. Todos los demás tenían que adaptarse a la política dictada por aquel país.

Esto cambió con la llegada de los tipos de cambio flexibles a principios de los setenta, que permitió que los países más preocupados por la estabilidad, como Alemania, se desvincularan de la política monetaria estadounidense que consideraban demasiado inflacionaria. No obstante, aun con los tipos de cambio flotantes, los Estados Unidos conservaron una ventaja: puesto que el dólar seguía siendo la principal moneda de reserva global, el país podía financiar déficits externos a tasas muy favorables.

Actualmente, la Tesorería de los Estados Unidos todavía puede pedir préstamos ilimitados a tasas de interés mínimas. En efecto, la tasa de interés de los bonos protegidos contra la inflación ha llegado a -0.5%, incluso para los vencimientos de cinco años. Así pues, esencialmente se está pagando al gobierno estadounidense para que reciba el dinero de los inversionistas –una oferta generosa que acepta a una escala enorme con la esperanza de que canalizar esos recursos hacia los consumidores estadounidenses dé un impulso al consumo de las unidades familiares y así genere más empleos.

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