segunda-feira, 28 de setembro de 2009

O futuro das finanças globais

A série Crossroads - essays examining changes in the collective American experience - do Sunday Book Review (New York Times) publicou, no último dia 17 de setembro, o texto The Future of Global Finance, de Liaquat Ahamed, autor do best-seller nos EUA, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke The World.

O artigo é um excelente apanhado do vem sendo debatido sobre o futuro da economia internacional pós-crise. Um possível cenário, aponta Ahamed, prevê um grande ajuste no consumo americano, no modelo exportador asiático - que muitos defenderam para o Brasil nos anos 1990 - e nos bancos que lidam com as finanças globalizadas. O receio é de um forte processo de "desglobalização", como o que ocorreu após a Grande Depressão.

"One scenario has the world adjusting smoothly to the new realities. American consumers, tapped out by debt, tighten their belts. The Asian economies reconsider the wisdom of relying so heavily on exports to drive their growth and focus more on domestic consumption. And with less money to recycle, international banks, which had done such a poor job, are cut down to size."

Mas, para o analista, a situação ainda pode ficar pior no mercado global.

"[T]wo dangers could make the current bad situation worse. One is that China finds it too difficult or politically costly to restructure its economy and, despite the changes in the global market, keeps its foot on the export accelerator. Since the American consumer cannot afford to keep buying, this would set off a cycle of trade wars among Asian countries competing for ever smaller markets.

The second is yet another version of Triffin’s dilemma: if even a small fraction of foreign holders of dollars were to be spooked by our budgetary problems, we could have a spike in the cost of capital just when the economy is trying to recover. The risk of such a situation is clearly on the minds of Chinese policy makers. Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, explicitly referred to Triffin’s dilemma in a speech this March on the need for reform of the international monetary system."

Sobre o problema do déficit americano em conta corrente, discutido por Ahamed, diz o Peterson Institute for International Economics:

"The global current account deficit of the United States is now larger than it has ever been—nearing $800 billion, almost 7 percent of US GDP. To finance both the current account deficit and its own sizable foreign investments, the United States must import about $1 trillion of foreign capital every year or more than $4 billion every working day. The situation is unsustainable in both international financial and domestic political (i.e., trade policy) terms. Correcting it must be the highest priority for US foreign economic policy. The most constructive remedy in the short term is a three-part package that includes credible, sizable reductions in the US budget deficit, expansion of domestic demand in major economies outside the United States, and a gradual but substantial realignment of exchange rates."

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