La tormenta de sesenta años

La crisis financiera de hoy, desatada por el colapso de la burbuja inmobiliaria en Estados Unidos, también señala el fin de una era de expansión crediticia basada en el dólar como la moneda de reserva internacional. Es una tormenta mucho mayor que cualquiera que haya ocurrido desde el fin de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Para entender lo que está sucediendo, necesitamos un nuevo paradigma. Lo podemos encontrar en la teoría de la reflexividad, que propuse por primera vez hace 20 años en mi libro La alquimia de las finanzas . La teoría sostiene que los mercados financieros no tienden al equilibrio. Las opiniones sesgadas y los errores conceptuales entre los participantes del mercado introducen la incertidumbre y la imprevisibilidad no sólo en los precios de mercado, sino también en los principios que esos precios supuestamente reflejan. Cuando quedan a su libre albedrío, los mercados son proclives a extremos de euforia y desesperación.

A decir verdad, por su potencial inestabilidad, los mercados financieros no quedan a su libre albedrío; están a cargo de autoridades cuya tarea consiste en mantener los excesos dentro de límites. Pero las autoridades también son humanas y objeto de opiniones sesgadas y errores conceptuales. Y la interacción entre los mercados financieros y las autoridades financieras también es reflexiva.

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