White House north lawn John Middlebrook/ZumaPress

Amerika als obstakel

NEW YORK – De Derde Internationale Conferentie over Ontwikkelingsfinanciering is onlangs in de Ethiopische hoofdstad, Addis Ababa, gehouden. De conferentie kwam op een moment waarop de ontwikkelingslanden en de opkomende markten hun vermogen hebben gedemonstreerd om grote hoeveelheden geld productief te absorberen. De taken die deze landen op zich nemen – zoals investeren in infrastructuur (wegen, elektriciteit, havens en nog veel meer), om steden te bouwen die op een dag onderdak kunnen bieden aan miljoenen, en naar een groene economie toe te groeien – zijn werkelijk enorm.

Tegelijkertijd is er geen gebrek aan geld dat erop wacht om productief te worden ingezet. Nog maar een paar jaar geleden had Ben Bernanke, de toenmalige voorzitter van de US Federal Reserve Board (het federale stelsel van Amerikaanse centrale banken) het over een mondiaal spaaroverschot. En toch wisten investeringsprojecten met grote sociale rendementen maar moeizaam aan geld te komen. Dat is vandaag de dag nog steeds het geval. Het probleem, zowel toen als nu, is dat de financiële markten van de wereld, bedoeld om efficiënt te bemiddelen tussen spaar- en investeringsmogelijkheden, kapitaal verkeerd gebruiken en risico's creëren.

Er is nog iets ironisch. De meeste investeringsprojecten waar de opkomende landen behoefte aan hebben spelen op de langere termijn, net als een groot deel van de beschikbare spaartegoeden – de biljoenen die pensioenfondsen en staatsfondsen beheren. Maar onze steeds kortzichtiger financiële markten staan daartussen in.

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