Paul Lachine

El ponche de la política monetaria de Occidente

TILBURG – Hay momentos en que se debe pensar y actuar de forma original y después hay momentos en que se vuelve a la normalidad. Los más importantes bancos centrales de Occidente –el Banco de Inglaterra, el Banco Central Europeo y la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos– deben tomárselo en serio. Como dijo el ex Presidente de la Reserva Federal William McChesney Martin: “La misión del banco central es la de retirar el ponche cuando la fiesta aún no ha acabado”. Sin embargo, recientemente la Reserva Federal decidió no sólo mantener la fuente  del ponche, sino también volver a llenarlo.

Cuando la crisis financiera estalló con su máxima intensidad en 2008, los bancos centrales más importantes del mundo estuvieron acertados al recurrir a medidas excepcionales. Desde luego, podríamos afirmar que en algunos casos exageraron –por ejemplo, con la segunda ronda de la llamada “relajación cuantitativa” en los Estados Unidos–, pero, en términos generales, la reacción parece haber sido apropiada.

Sin embargo, más de dos años después, la situación ha cambiado. La recuperación económica no es estelar, pero no por ello deja de ser una recuperación. Casi todas las economías desarrolladas han dejado la recesión muy atrás y el peligro de deflación ha desaparecido. Recientemente, el banco central suizo adoptó esa posición y el BCE está preocupado por una mayor inflación, no deflación, en la zona del euro. En las economías en ascenso, como, por ejemplo, el Brasil, China, la India y Corea del Sur, la inflación está aumentando rápidamente y pasando a ser cada vez más un problema económico y social.

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