Paul Lachine

Diez preguntas sobre la FC

NUEVA YORK – La mayoría de los observadores considera necesarias a las políticas monetarias no convencionales, como la flexibilización cuantitativa (FC), para lograr que las anémicas economías actuales comiencen a crecer. Pero junto con esa percepción de necesidad, han comenzado a multiplicarse las preguntas sobre la eficacia y los riesgos de la FC. En especial, diez potenciales costos asociados con esas políticas ameritan atención.

En primer lugar, si bien una respuesta puramente «austríaca» (esto es, de austeridad) ante el estallido de las burbujas de activos y crédito puede conducir a una depresión, las políticas de FC que posponen excesivamente el necesario desapalancamiento en los sectores privado y público pueden crear un ejército de zombis: instituciones financieras zombis, hogares y empresas zombis y, finalmente, gobiernos zombis. Así que, en algún punto entre los extremos austríaco y keynesiano, es necesario eliminar paulatinamente la FC.

En segundo lugar, la FC reiterada puede ir perdiendo eficacia a medida que los canales de transmisión hacia la actividad económica real se van obstruyendo. El canal de los bonos no funciona cuando sus rendimientos ya son bajos; y el canal del crédito no funciona cuando los bancos atesoran liquidez y colapsa la velocidad. De hecho, quienes pueden tomar créditos (las empresas con elevadas calificaciones y los hogares en mejor posición) no desean hacerlo o no lo necesitan, mientras que quienes sí lo precisan –las empresas muy apalancadas y los hogares en peor situación– no pueden hacerlo por la restricción crediticia existente.

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