El bombero ocioso

WASHINGTON, DC.- Uno de los objetivos principales del FMI es “infundir confianza a los países miembros poniendo a su disposición temporalmente […] los recursos generales [del Fondo]…”. Sin embargo, sus miembros se enfrentan cada vez más a la volatilidad de los capitales, y el uso de los recursos del Fondo ha disminuido abruptamente. Irónicamente, esto sucede en un momento en el que el Fondo querría ofrecer préstamos: está anegado en liquidez y casi la totalidad de sus ingresos proviene del reembolso de sus préstamos.

Si el FMI tuviera que ajustarse a las normas de una organización privada, crearía un nuevo instrumento que se ajustaría a la demanda potencial de liquidez a corto plazo de sus miembros. Desafortunadamente, no hay deseos de hacerlo. Hasta hace un año, el FMI se congratulaba de que se le acababan los clientes. El bombero ocioso parecía deseable. Sin embargo, las cosas han cambiado. Hay un incendio que apagar, pero nadie llama a los bomberos. Solamente Georgia, lo que no debe sorprender, está pidiendo ayuda.

Los prestatarios potenciales han estado acumulando enormes reservas y han hecho fondos regionales para protegerse de las sacudidas y los capitales especulativos, pero no a instancia del Fondo. Al contrario, la acumulación de reservas más allá de un cierto nivel resulta en un alto costo de oportunidad e indica la necesidad de permitir una apreciación de la moneda. Las implicaciones son que los prestatarios potenciales no absorben todas las importaciones que podrían y no recurren, como deberían, a los fondos multilaterales de reservas que se supone que el FMI debe usar para “infundir confianza” a sus miembros.

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