Tim Brinton

La trampa mortal de la deuda

NUEVA YORK – El culebrón financiero griego es la punta de un iceberg de problemas de sostenibilidad de la deuda pública para muchas economías avanzadas y no sólo los llamados PIIGS (Portugal, Italia, Irlanda, Grecia y España). De hecho, la OCDE calcula ahora que los coeficientes deuda-PIB de las economías avanzadas aumentarán a una media del 100 por ciento, aproximadamente, del PIB. El Fondo Monetario Internacional ha hecho públicos recientemente cálculos similares.

Dentro de los PIIGS, los problemas no son sólo unos déficits públicos y porcentajes de deuda excesivos (en diferentes grados y medidas en los cinco países), sino también de déficits exteriores, pérdida de competitividad y, por tanto, crecimiento anémico.

Se trata de unas economías que, incluso hace un decenio, estaban perdiendo mercado a manos de China y Asia por sus exportaciones de poco valor añadido y mucha intensidad de mano de obra. Después de un decenio en el que los salarios aumentaron más rápidamente que la productividad, los costos laborales por unidad (y el tipo de cambio real basado en dichos costos) se apreciaron en gran medida. La consiguiente pérdida de competitividad se manifestó en  grandes –y cada vez mayores– déficits por cuenta corriente y en una aminoración del crecimiento. La puntilla fue la apreciación del euro entre 2002 y 2008.

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