El Riesgo Real de la Globalización

Está de moda culpar al Fondo Monetario Inernacional (FMI) por la ola de disturbios financieros que ha barrido los mercados emergentes desde la ``Crisis Tequila'' de México en 1994. Al salvar a los países en problemas una y otra vez, el FMI supuestamente alentó a los inversionistas a asumir un riesgo sin garantía, sembrando dinero en países sin analizar apropiadamente si pagarían de vuelta en alguna ocasión. Según los críticos del FMI, los paquetes de salvación permitieron que los líderes desde Brasil hasta Turquía evitaran reformas dolorosas pero necesarias, con el perverso efecto de hacer las crisis inevitables.

Este argumento -un ejemplo de lo que los economistas llaman ``riesgo moral''- es fácil de pensar, pero tiene pies de arcilla. De hecho, la inversión extranjera en los mercados emergentes ya había empezado a ceder terreno después de 1995, luego cayó a plomo con la crisis asiática de 1997 y se ha mantenido baja desde entonces, ¡incluso conforme el FMI orquestó muchos de los paquetes de salvación que supuestamente distorcionaron el comportamiento de los inversionistas en primer lugar!

Además, la inversión extranjera en los mercados emergentes se redigirió después de 1994 a las fábricas, a los bienes raíces, a las industrias de servicio, etcétera. A diferencia de los tenedores extranjeros de bonos, quienes podían cancelar y correr después de que el FMI garantizó que recibirían sus pagos, los inversionistas directos sufrieron pérdidas mayores cuando se dió la crisis y, por lo tanto, es difícil afirmar que se beneficiaron con los paquetes de rescate.

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