El nuevo desorden monetario

PRINCETON – El caos monetario está de vuelta y esto aviva los reclamos de una revisión del orden monetario internacional. La rápida caída del dólar y la libra, pero también del renminbi -hoy más atado al dólar que nunca- está alimentando las tensiones. Algunos de los fantasmas de los años 1930 también han regresado -en particular, el miedo de ventajas comerciales injustas causadas por la devaluación competitiva-. El secretario del Tesoro de Estados Unidos, Timothy Geithner, ya ha acusado a China de manipulación monetaria.

Existen dos estrategias alternativas y marcadamente contrastantes para poner las monedas en orden. Una es organizar una conferencia internacional en la que los expertos puedan sugerir modelos para calcular los tipos de cambio y los políticos puedan negociar acuerdos. La única instancia exitosa de un acuerdo de este tipo es la conferencia de Bretton Woods en 1944, pero aún entonces los tipos de cambio que se fijaron allí resultaron ser poco realistas, y pronto hizo falta una ola importante de alteraciones paritarias (así como mantener controles de divisas).

Otras conferencias centradas en la moneda fueron fracasos rotundos. El presidente Richard Nixon calificó el acuerdo smithsoniano de 1971 como ampquot;el acuerdo monetario más importante de la historia del mundoampquot;. Pero en poco tiempo estaba hecho jirones, y el mundo avanzó hacia la flotación generalizada.

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