Responsáveis dos Bancos Centrais com os Pés na Terra

NOVA DELI – Os mercados estão outra vez em turbulência, após a indicação da Reserva Federal dos EUA (Fed) de que poderia reduzir as suas aquisições de obrigações até ao fim do ano. A intensidade da reacção do mercado foi surpreendente, pelo menos dado o saber adquirido relativo ao funcionamento da política de flexibilização quantitativa do Fed. Afinal, o Fed teve o cuidado de indicar que manteria a sua política de taxas de juro próximas de zero, e que não se iria desfazer das obrigações que detém.

A teoria dominante do funcionamento da flexibilização quantitativa é a abordagem do equilíbrio da carteira de activos. Essencialmente, ao adquirir obrigações a longo prazo do Tesouro provenientes das carteiras dos investidores privados, o Fed espera que estes investidores reequilibrem as suas carteiras. Como um activo com risco foi retirado e substituído por reservas seguras do banco central, a apetência pelo risco não satisfeita dos investidores crescerá, o preço de todos os activos com risco (incluindo as remanescentes obrigações do Tesouro detidas por privados) aumentará, e as taxas de rendibilidade das obrigações cairão.

Um elemento central da teoria reside no facto de que a reserva de obrigações removida pelo Fed das carteiras privadas, e não o fluxo das aquisições do Fed, será o que determina a apetência pelo risco por parte dos investidores. A menos que os investidores assumissem que o Fed adquiriria indefinidamente obrigações, as notícias sobre uma redução nas compras do Fed só deveriam provocar um efeito suave nas suas expectativas sobre a reserva eventual de obrigações detidas pelo Fed. Então, porque se verificou uma reacção tão violenta nos mercados mundiais?

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