Arenas movedizas cuantitativas

PITTSBURGH – Casi todas las recuperaciones de una recesión han incluido un crecimiento rápido del empleo -hasta ahora-. Si bien los bancos centrales de los países avanzados han implementado una política monetaria expansionista luego de la crisis económica global en un esfuerzo por impulsar la demanda, la creación de empleo está rezagada. En consecuencia, los trabajadores, cada vez más convencidos de que no podrán encontrar empleo por un período prolongado, están abandonando la fuerza laboral en masa.

No hay lugar en el que este fenómeno sea más pronunciado que en Estados Unidos, donde la Reserva Federal ha reducido las tasas de interés a niveles sin precedentes y, a través de un alivio cuantitativo (QE), aumentó las reservas de los bancos mediante la compra de activos financieros. Pero la inflación -alimentada inevitablemente por un aumento del dinero en circulación- hasta el momento se mantuvo bajo control, en aproximadamente el 2%, porque los bancos no están usando sus crecientes reservas para expandir el crédito y aumentar la liquidez. Si bien esto permite mantener controlada la volatilidad de los precios, también está entorpeciendo el crecimiento del empleo.

Sin embargo, en lugar de cambiar esta estrategia, la Fed ha respondido al crecimiento lento del empleo lanzando rondas adicionales de QE. Aparentemente, su razonamiento es que si expandir las reservas en más de 2 billones de dólares no ha generado los resultados deseados, sumar 85.000 millones de dólares más todos los meses -otro billón de dólares este año- podría resolver el problema.

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