housing development Mint Images/ZumaPress

Perché Piccole Espansioni Possono Determinare Grandi Recessioni

BERKELEY – All’avvio delle bolle speculative, la recessione non era molto rilevante. Dal 2002 al 2006, la quota dell’economia americana impegnata nell’edilizia residenziale è aumentata di 1,2 punti percentuali del PIL rispetto al suo valore tendenziale precedente, prima di precipitare quando gli Stati Uniti sono entrati nella più grande crisi economica da quasi un secolo. Secondo i miei calcoli approssimativi, in questo periodo, gli investimenti in eccesso nel settore immobiliare ammontavano a circa 500 miliardi di dollari – senza dubbio una piccola porzione dell’economia mondiale al momento del tracollo.

Il danno che ne è derivato, tuttavia, è stato enorme. Le economie di Europa e Nord America sono più piccole di circa il 6% rispetto a quanto ci si poteva aspettare se non si vi fosse stata alcuna crisi. In altre parole, una quantità relativamente piccola di sovrainvestimenti è responsabile ogni anno di circa 1,8 miliardi di dollari in termini di mancata produzione. Dato che il gap non mostra segnali di chiusura, e tenendo conto dei tassi di crescita attesi e dei rendimenti azionari, ritengo che le perdite totali nella produzione alla fine raggiungeranno quasi i 3 milioni di miliardi. Per ogni dollaro di sovrainvestimento sul mercato immobiliare, l’economia mondiale dovrà subire 6.000 dollari di perdite. Come può essere?

È importante notare che non tutte le recessioni causano tanta sofferenza. I colpi finanziari del 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, e 2001 (allorché circa 4.000 miliardi di dollari di investimenti in eccesso sono andati persi con l’esplosione della bolla dot-com) hanno avuto un impatto limitato sulla più ampia economia reale. Il motivo per cui allora le cose erano diverse rispetto ad ora si può trovare in un articolo recentemente pubblicato da Oscar Jordà, Moritz Schularick, e Alan M. Taylor. Gli autori dimostrano che grandi crescite del credito possono peggiorare notevolmente i danni causati dallo scoppio di una bolla speculativa.

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