¿La próxima misión del FMI?

La economía mundial está cada vez más amenazada por las reacciones de unos mercados volátiles ante los desequilibrios planetarios en un momento en que el FMI ha perdido en gran medida su razón de ser original como principal institución monetaria del mundo. Esos dos fenómenos deben estimular al Fondo para que adopte un nuevo objetivo como gestor de las reservas del mundo.

En el decenio de 1960, el FMI resolvió los problemas de todas las grandes economías y en los de 1980 y 1990 pasó a ser un gestor de crisis para los mercados en ascenso, pero esa tarea resulta mucho más difícil ahora, en vista del tamaño de algunas de las grandes economías en ascenso, y, en cualquier caso, el foco del nerviosismo financiero está volviendo a situarse en los países principales de la economía mundial, como, por ejemplo, los Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido y Australia, que están financiando grandes déficits por cuenta corriente con los superávits de países mucho más pobres.

Esos superávits reflejan tasas elevadas de ahorro, tanto en el sector privado como en el público, en los países productores de petróleo y en las economías asiáticas en ascenso, como resultado de las cuales se ha producido una rápida acumulación de divisas, pero no se trata de una bendición precisamente para esos países. Sus reservas han llegado a ser tan grandes, que incluso el anuncio de un pequeño cambio en los activos –de euros a dólares, pongamos por caso– puede provocar movimientos en los mercados y causar alteraciones y pánicos. Como en el caso de los regímenes de reservas del pasado que ofrecían una variedad de activos (por ejemplo, el dólar, la libra y el oro en el período de entreguerras), la inestabilidad es inherente a esa situación.

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