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¿Qué pasará con todo el “dinero”?

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¿Qué pasará con todo el “dinero”?
  • La expansión de la oferta monetaria por parte de los bancos centrales de la Eurozona no tiene por qué llevar a un incremento de la inflación
  • Los economistas de la zona euro prefieren considerar el agregado “amplio” M3, que además del efectivo incluye el dinero en depósitos
  • “Para que aumente la inflación, el agregado monetario M3 tendría que empezar a crecer a tasas similares a las del balance del BCE”

El fallo del Tribunal Constitucional Federal alemán sobre la ampliación del balance del Banco Central Europeo (BCE) a principios de mayo ha dado un nuevo impulso a una vieja cuestión. Esta aparente expansión de la oferta monetaria, que actualmente se logra principalmente a través de la compra de bonos por el Bundesbank y otros bancos centrales de la zona euro, ¿trae consigo un riesgo sustancial de inflación?, se pregunta DWS en un artículo reciente.

Según la gestora, incluso los autodenominados “no monetarios” tienen que admitir que la inflación es un fenómeno monetario. La oferta de dinero, multiplicada por la velocidad de circulación, debe corresponder al valor nominal de todos los bienes y servicios comercializados en un periodo de tiempo. Si la oferta monetaria aumenta mientras la velocidad del dinero en circulación y la cantidad de bienes y servicios se mantienen constantes, entonces el nivel de precios debe aumentar, es decir, debe producirse la inflación.

Hasta ahora, todo bien. Pero, ¿qué es exactamente "dinero"? Un momento de reflexión revela que esta pregunta está lejos de ser trivial, dice DWS. Como se ha descrito anteriormente, la inflación se produce cuando demasiado "dinero" persigue muy pocos bienes y servicios. Los bienes y servicios pueden ser pagados en efectivo, pero también con una tarjeta de débito, o incluso de crédito.

“En cambio, el dinero ahorrado en una cuenta de depósito a plazo, que un ahorrador prolonga continuamente durante años, no forma parte en este sentido del ‘dinero’ disponible inmediatamente para las compras”, señala. Del mismo modo, las tenencias físicas de efectivo que están guardadas bajo llave en una caja fuerte privada durante años se han retirado efectivamente de la circulación. Por el contrario, apunta que las participaciones de renta variable que alguien acumula para ahorrar para la compra de un coche prevista para el próximo año no son tan diferentes del dinero disponible para compras en un año.

Según la gestora, estas consideraciones son una de las razones por las que a los economistas de la zona euro les sigue gustando considerar el agregado de masa monetaria “amplio” M3. (A diferencia de las medidas más estrechas, el M3 incluye todo lo mencionado anteriormente, excepto las participaciones en acciones).

“Esto nos devuelve a la pregunta inicial, es decir: por qué la expansión de los balances de los bancos centrales no derivará necesariamente en inflación”, afirma. Desde 2009, la oferta monetaria del M3 no ha crecido tan fuertemente como el balance del BCE. De hecho, se ha estancado durante varios años en la última década, es decir, que gran parte de la liquidez proporcionada por el BCE nunca llegó a entrar en la economía real.

DWS considera que esto también explica por qué la tendencia de inflación subyacente, medida por la tasa de inflación básica, se encuentra aproximadamente al nivel de hace diez años. “Para que esto cambie, asumimos que el agregado monetario M3 tendría que empezar a crecer a tasas similares a las del balance del BCE”, asegura.

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