Las raíces de la crisis financiera de los Estados Unidos

CAMBRIDGE – Los desesperados intentos de la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos para impedir que la economía de este país se hunda son notables por al menos dos razones. En primer lugar, hasta hace tan sólo unos meses, la opinión general era la de que los EE.UU. evitarían la recesión. Ahora ésta parece segura. En segundo lugar, las intervenciones de la Reserva no parecen eficaces. Aunque se han reducido drásticamente los tipos de interés y la Reserva ha prodigado liquidez a los bancos que se han quedado sin ella, la crisis se ha acentuado.

En gran medida, la crisis de los EE.UU. fue provocada por la Reserva, ayudada por las ilusiones que se hacía el gobierno de Bush. Un culpable principal no fue otro que Alan Greenspan, que dejó al actual Presidente de la Reserva Federal, Ben Bernanke, una situación terrible, pero este último fue uno de los gobernadores de la Reserva en el período de Greenspan y tampoco él diagnosticó correctamente los problemas en aumento debidos a sus intervenciones.

La crisis financiera actual tiene sus raíces inmediatas en 2001, en medio del fin del auge de Internet y la conmoción provocada por los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre. En aquel momento fue cuando la Reserva abrió los grifos monetarios para intentar luchar contra una desaceleración económica. La Reserva derramó dinero en la economía de los EE.UU. y redujo drásticamente su principal tipo de interés –el de los fondos federales– del 3,5 por ciento en agosto de 2001 a tan sólo el 1 por ciento a mediados de 2003. La Reserva mantuvo ese tipo demasiado bajo y durante demasiado tiempo.

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