Paul Lachine

La prueba de pertinencia de la Reserva Federal

NUEVA YORK – Con los tipos de interés cercanos a cero, la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos y otros bancos centrales están esforzándose por seguir siendo pertinentes. La última flecha en su carcaj se llama distensión cuantitativa y es probable que resulte casi tan ineficaz para reactivar la economía de los EE.UU. como cualquiera de los demás procedimientos a que la Reserva Federal ha recurrido en los últimos años. Peor aún: es probable que la distensión cuantitativa cueste a los contribuyentes un dineral y, además, menoscabe la eficacia de la Reserva Federal en los próximos años.

John Maynard Keyes sostuvo que la política monetaria fue ineficaz durante la Gran Depresión. Los bancos centrales son mejores para contener la exuberancia irracional de los mercados durante una burbuja –limitar la disponibilidad de crédito o aumentar los tipos de interés para frenar la economía– que para fomentar la inversión en una recesión. Ésa es la razón por la que una buena política monetaria va encaminada a prevenir el surgimiento de las burbujas.

Pero la Reserva Federal, apresada durante más de dos decenios por fundamentalistas del mercado y por los intereses de Wall Street, no sólo no puso límites, sino que, además, hizo de animadora y, después de haber desempeñado un papel fundamental en la creación del embrollo actual, ahora está intentando recuperar su prestigio.

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