¿Empobrece tu moneda o empobrécete a ti mismo?

NEWPORT BEACH – No son muchos los países que hoy día buscan un tipo de cambio elevado; unos pocos, incluidos los sistemáticamente importantes, están debilitando activamente sus monedas. Sin embargo, como el tipo de cambio es un precio relativo, todas las monedas no pueden debilitarse simultáneamente. La forma en que el mundo resuelva esta inconsistencia básica durante los próximos años tendrá un importante impacto sobre las perspectivas de crecimiento, empleo, distribución del ingreso y funcionamiento de la economía mundial.

Japón es el último país en decir basta. Después de que su moneda se apreciase dramáticamente durante los últimos años, el nuevo gobierno del primer ministro Shinzo Abe está tomando medidas para modificar la dinámica del tipo de cambio del país –y lo está logrando. En tan solo dos meses, el yen se ha debilitado más del 10 % respecto del dólar y casi el 20 % respecto del euro.

Los líderes europeos ya han expresado sus reservas sobre las acciones japonesas. La industria automotriz estadounidense se alzó en armas. Y, hace unos pocos días, Jens Weidmann, presidente del Bundesbank, advirtió públicamente que el mundo enfrenta una perjudicial y, en última instancia, fútil ronda de depreciaciones competitivas del tipo de cambio –o, más brutalmente, una «guerra de monedas» (término utilizado previamente por Brasil para expresar preocupaciones similares).

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