El valor de la subvaluación

El dilema de política más importante al que se enfrentan hoy en día los mercados emergentes es el siguiente: por un lado, el crecimiento económico sostenido requiere una divisa competitiva (léase “subvaluada”). Por el otro, cualquier noticia positiva es recibida con una revaluación de la moneda, lo que hace que la tarea de seguir siendo competitivos sea más difícil.

Así que, ¿por fin logró usted que se aprobara esa legislación esencial? ¿Su partido políticamente responsable acaba de ganar las elecciones? ¿El precio de sus materias primas acaba de subir? ¡Lo felicito! Pero la revaluación de la moneda que vendrá, probablemente desencadenará un aumento insostenible del consumo, causará estragos en su sector exportador, creará desempleo y absorberá todo el potencial de crecimiento. La recompensa del éxito es el castigo inmediato.

En respuesta, los bancos centrales pueden intervenir en los mercados de divisas para evitar la apreciación, al costo de acumular reservas extranjeras de bajo rendimiento y de desviarse de su meta principal de la estabilidad de precios. Esta es la estrategia que siguen países como China y Argentina.

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