La humillación de Gran Bretaña

BERKELEY – A fines de 2008, cuando la crisis financiera estalló con toda su fuerza, los países del mundo se dividieron en dos grupos: aquellos cuyos líderes decidieron arreglárselas a duras penas y China. Sólo los chinos se tomaron en serio el argumento de Milton Friedman y de John Maynard Keynes de que, cuando uno se enfrenta a la posibilidad de una depresión, lo primero que tiene que hacer es lograr que el gobierno intervenga estratégicamente en los mercados financieros y de productos para mantener el flujo de demanda agregada.

Luego, a comienzos de 2010, los países que habían decidido arreglárselas a duras penas se dividieron en dos grupos: aquellos donde el crédito del gobierno estaba intacto siguieron saliendo del paso, mientras que países como Grecia e Irlanda, donde el crédito del gobierno estaba deteriorado, no tuvieron otra opción que aplicar la austeridad e intentar restablecer la confianza fiscal.

Hoy se está produciendo otra división, esta vez entre aquellos países que siguen arreglándoselas a duras penas y Gran Bretaña. Aunque el crédito del gobierno británico sigue siendo oro sólido, la administración del primer ministro David Cameron está por embarcarse en lo que puede ser la mayor contracción fiscal sostenida de la historia: un plan para achicar el déficit presupuestario del gobierno en un 9% del PBI en los próximos cuatro años.

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