La gran moderación

Ya han pasado 20 años desde que Alan Greenspan se convirtió en presidente del Banco de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos. Los años transcurridos desde entonces han sido testigos de la más rápida tasa de crecimiento del ingreso promedio global de cualquier generación, así como de escasísimos brotes de deflación masiva generadora de desempleo o de inflación destructiva de la riqueza. Sólo la década y media perdida de Japón y las dificultades de la transición del comunismo cuentan como verdaderas catástrofes macroeconómicas de una magnitud tal que fue aterradoramente común en décadas anteriores.

Esta “gran moderación” no fue anticipada cuando Alan Greenspan asumió el cargo. La política fiscal de Estados Unidos estaba absolutamente desquiciada por ese entonces –mucho más que hoy.

India parecía no poder salir del estancamiento. China crecía, pero los niveles de vida medios no superaban claramente los de los llamados “años dorados” de China de principios de los años 1950, después de la redistribución de la tierra y antes de que la colectivización forzada convirtiera a los campesinos en siervos. El desempleo europeo acababa de dar otro salto importante hacia arriba y los países “socialistas” eran tan incompatibles con el desarrollo económico racional que sus sistemas políticos colapsarían en el lapso de dos años. América latina estaba atascada en su propia década perdida después de la crisis de la deuda a principios de los años 1980.

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