El regreso de las guerras del dólar

Enfrentado a las inciertas perspectivas de su reeleción y preocupado por la pérdida de empleos, el Presidente de EEUU George W. Bush ha comenzado a culpar a otros países, enviando a su Secretario del Tesoro a exigir que aumenten sus tipos de cambio para que los bienes extranjeros sean más costosos para los consumidores estadounidenses. Esa fue la misión de John Snow en su reciente viaje a China, pero su objetivo no era nada nuevo. Dos de los predecesores de Snow, John Connally y James Baker, también buscaron lograr tipos de cambio políticamente deseables.

Lo que Snow pidió a China es una exigencia atípica: no es normal que vayamos a la tienda y pidamos al tendero que aumente los precios. Pero el surgimiento de nuevas y poderosas monedas siempre produce renovados intentos de usar los tipos de interés con fines políticos.

Durante los veinte años que siguieron a la II Guerra Mundial hubo sólo dos monedas fuertes a nivel internacional, tal como lo habían sido en el periodo de entreguerras: la libra británica y el dólar estadounidense. Hacia fines de la década de 1960, la libra estaba tan debilitada que los mercados internacionales perdieron interés. En lugar de ello, surgieron dos nuevas monedas fuertes, a medida que la potencia de las economías japonesa y alemana (occidental) producía grandes superávits comerciales.

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