El gran espejismo de Estados Unidos

NEW HAVEN - En septiembre de 1998, en las profundidades de la crisis financiera asiática, Alan Greenspan, presidente de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos en ese momento, tenía un mensaje sencillo que comunicar: EE.UU. no es un oasis de prosperidad en un mundo en dificultades. Su punto viene aún más al caso hoy que en aquel entonces.

Sí, la economía de EE.UU. se ha recuperado con debilidad en los últimos tres años. Pero al menos es una recuperación, muchos afirman, y por lo tanto el país está pudiendo resistir en medio de un mundo desarrollado en problemas. A diferencia de la Gran Recesión de 2008-2009, en la actualidad existe la esperanza generalizada de que Estados Unidos tenga la capacidad de mantener el rumbo y respaldar al resto del mundo en medio de la crisis del euro.

Mejor sería pensárselo más. Desde el primer trimestre de 2009, cuando la economía estadounidense tocaba fondo después de su peor recesión de posguerra, las exportaciones han llegado a representar un 41% de la recuperación posterior. Así es: en momentos que el consumidor estadounidense se encuentra paralizado tras la borrachera de consumo más grande de la historia, la economía de EE.UU. ha pasado a depender de manera desproporcionada de los mercados extranjeros. Puesto que esos mercados se ven ahora en problemas, no nos deberíamos sorprender si EE.UU. termina por ser el siguiente.

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