¿Quién mató a Wall Street?

CAMBRIDGE – No hace falta esforzarse demasiado para ser un escéptico de las finanzas en estos días. Así que vale la pena recordar lo convincente que nos parecía hasta no hace mucho la lógica de la innovación financiera que nos condujo a nuestro aprieto actual. 

¿Quién no querría que los mercados de crédito sirvieran a la causa de la compra de una vivienda? De manera que empezamos por introducir cierta competencia real en el negocio de los préstamos hipotecarios. Les permitimos a instituciones no bancarias otorgar préstamos para vivienda y les dejamos ofrecer hipotecas creativas y más costeables a posibles propietarios no muy bien atendidos por los prestadores convencionales.

Luego permitimos que esos préstamos sean agrupados y empaquetados en cauciones que se pueden vender a inversores, reduciendo el riesgo en el proceso. Repartimos el flujo de pagos sobre estos préstamos inmobiliarios en tramos de riesgo variado, compensando a los tenedores del tipo más arriesgado con tasas de interés más altas. Después llamamos a las agencias de calificación de crédito para certificar que las menos riesgosas de estas cauciones con respaldo hipotecario son lo suficientemente seguras como para que fondos de pensión y compañías de seguro invirtieran en ellas. En caso de que alguien todavía esté nervioso, creamos derivados que les permiten a los inversores comprar seguro contra incumplimiento de pago de parte de los emisores de esas cauciones.

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