Graduation ceremony.

La burbuja educativa de los Estados Unidos

SAN FRANCISCO – Uno de los fines fundamentales de un gobierno es el de hacer avanzar los bienes públicos importantes, pero, si no se gestiona cuidadosamente, la persecución de fines sociales importantes puede tener consecuencias económicas y financieras desafortunadas y a veces éstas pueden provocar incluso perturbaciones sistémicas cuyos efectos afecten a algo más que a los propios fines perseguidos.

Así ocurrió hace un decenio en los Estados Unidos con el empeño de aumentar el número de propietarios de viviendas. Lo mismo ha estado ocurriendo más recientemente en China, a raíz de una iniciativa para aumentar la participación en el mercado de valores, y podría suceder de nuevo en los EE.UU., esta vez como consecuencia del intento de mejorar el acceso a la financiación de la enseñanza superior.

En el primer caso, el Gobierno de los EE.UU. apoyó con entusiasmo las medidas encaminadas a lograr que las hipotecas resultaran más asequibles, incluida la creación de toda clase de medios de préstamo “exóticos”. El método dio resultado, pero demasiado bien. La oleada de solicitudes facilitada por la deuda aumentó los precios de la propiedad inmobiliaria, mientras que la mayor disposición de los bancos a prestar movió a muchas personas a adquirir viviendas que no podían costearse. El desplome de la burbuja posterior, factor que contribuyó en gran medida a la crisis financiara mundial de 2008, casi sumió la economía mundial en una depresión multianual.

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