La falsa promesa de los fondos de resolución de la crisis

ROMA – Desde que los mercados financieros comenzaron a estabilizarse a fines del año pasado, la idea de hacer que el sector financiero pague los costos en los que incurrieron los contribuyentes para mantenerlo a flote ganó cada vez más respaldo entre los estrategas políticos y el público en general. Francia y el Reino Unido introdujeron un impuesto temporario a los sobresueldos del sector financiero, mientras que el gobierno de Estados Unidos propuso una legislación que concibe la posibilidad de un “honorario de responsabilidad por la crisis financiera” para recuperar los costos del Programa de Alivio de Activos en Problemas de Estados Unidos. También se está discutiendo cuál es la mejor manera de reformar el sistema tributario del sector financiero, que en promedio es menos estricto en relación a otros ingresos corporativos e injustamente favorece al empréstito por sobre la financiación mediante la emisión de acciones.

Sin embargo, un pago único para recuperar costos pasados no cambiará los incentivos del sector financiero en lo que concierne a la excesiva toma de riesgo. Es más, no resulta claro cuáles son exactamente los costos que han de recuperarse.

Si bien los costos fiscales directos de respaldar al sector financiero fueron de 2,5-3% del PBI en los países desarrollados (con picos de aproximadamente el 4,5%), el impacto fiscal total de la crisis es mucho mayor, y asciende al incremento total esperado en la deuda pública –alrededor de 40% del PBI-. Y mayor aún es el costo total experimentado por la economía –que incluye las pérdidas de producción y empleo, y la concomitante destrucción del capital material e inmaterial que, según Andrew Haldane del Banco de Inglaterra entre otros, podría aumentar a un múltiplo del PBI anual.

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