Paul Lachine

Activar sin demora la compra de bonos

CHICAGO – En julio de este año, el presidente del Banco Central Europeo, Mario Draghi, declaró que el BCE hará “lo que sea necesario” para preservar el euro, y en septiembre, el BCE decidió avanzar con su programa de “transacciones monetarias directas” (TMD) para la compra de bonos públicos de los países de la eurozona que enfrentan dificultades. Desde entonces, Europa viene experimentando la calma que sigue a la tormenta. Las sobretasas de los bonos públicos de Italia y España se han reducido abruptamente; las empresas privadas han vuelto a emitir bonos; y por el continente ha comenzado a extenderse una sensación de normalidad.

Pero sería un error pensar que los problemas del euro ya están resueltos. Los fundamentos económicos no están para nada estables, y el alivio de la tensión financiera es apenas el resultado afortunado de un juego de expectativas. Mientras los inversores crean que el TMD vendrá en auxilio de Italia y España si estos países llegaran a necesitarlo, el costo financiero para ambos países se mantendrá contenido, y el rescate será innecesario. Pero ante el menor asomo de duda respecto de la eficacia del programa, el juego de expectativas se dará vuelta y en poco tiempo los bonos de ambos países estarán otra vez bajo ataque.

De las posibles razones para dudar del programa TMD, una es que para que sea operativo se necesita la aprobación de todos los gobiernos europeos. Cada país de la UE tiene sus propias normas al respecto, pero en el caso de Alemania, la aprobación depende del parlamento. Todo indica que en una situación de emergencia, Alemania preferirá aprobar el rescate antes que permitir el desastre de que Italia o España caigan en cesación de pagos. Pero cualquier demora puede bastar para provocar una corrida bancaria en cualquiera de los dos países: para cuando el Bundestag alemán se decida, tal vez sea demasiado tarde.

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