La fantasía de la deuda

WASHINGTON, DC – El segundo recorte importante en las tasas de interés de Estados Unidos en una quincena junto con un plan de estímulos económicos que unió a republicanos y demócratas demuestra que los encargados del diseño de las políticas estadounidenses están decididos a impedir una recesión que parece ser la consecuencia del aumento de las hipotecas no pagadas y la caída de los precios de las viviendas. Pero hay un problema más profundo al que no se ha prestado atención: la economía estadounidense depende de la inflación de los precios de los activos y del aumento de la deuda para alimentar el crecimiento.

En ello hay una profunda contradicción. Por un lado, la política debe fomentar burbujas de los activos para mantener el crecimiento de la economía. Por el otro, esas burbujas inevitablemente provocan crisis financieras cuando acaban por colapsarse.

Esta es una contradicción con implicaciones globales. El crecimiento de muchos países depende del gasto de los consumidores estadounidenses y de las inversiones en subcontratación para abastecer a esos consumidores. Si la economía de burbujas de Estados Unidos ya está agotada, el crecimiento global se desacelerará bruscamente. No es claro que otros países tengan la voluntad o la capacidad para desarrollar motores alternativos de crecimiento.

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