La justicia del rescate financiero

Berkeley – Quizá la mejor manera de analizar una crisis financiera sea considerarla un colapso en la tolerancia del riesgo por parte de los inversores en los mercados financieros privados. Tal vez el colapso surja de pésimos controles internos en las firmas financieras que, protegidas por garantías gubernamentales implícitas, prodigan a sus empleados enormes recompensas a cambio de un comportamiento riesgoso. O quizás una larga racha de buena suerte haya dejado al mercado financiero en manos de optimistas disparatados que finalmente lo descifraron. O quizá simplemente surja de un pánico irracional.

Cualquiera fuera la causa, cuando sucumbe la tolerancia del riesgo del mercado, también lo hacen los precios de los activos financieros riesgosos. Todos saben que existen inmensas pérdidas no realizadas en los activos financieros, pero nadie está seguro de saber dónde están esas pérdidas. Comprar -o incluso tener- activos riesgosos en una situación semejante es una receta para el desastre financiero. Al igual que comprar o tener acciones de empresas que pueden tener activos riesgosos, más allá de lo ampquot;segurasampquot; que antes podían parecer las acciones de una empresa.

Al resto de nosotros, esta caída de los precios de los activos financieros riesgosos no nos preocuparía excesivamente si no fuera por la confusión que generó en el sistema de precios, que le está enviando un mensaje peculiar a la economía real. El sistema de precios está diciendo: cierren las actividades de producción riesgosas y no emprendan ninguna actividad nueva que pudiera resultar riesgosa.

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