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Germany 1990

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CASO: Alemania en la Década de 1990: Manejando la Reunificación

PREGUNTAS
Pregunta 1: Describa los costos que implicó para Alemania Occidental la reunificación. Señale cómo impactó esto el presupuesto y la deuda fiscal.

Producto de la reunificación, la demanda de productos de Alemania Federal tuvo un importante auge, lo que provocó una importante baja en el desempleo y un aumento de los salarios y precio, con lo que la economía comenzó a sobrecalentarse. La inflación antes de la reunificación se mantenía bajo el 1%, pero se elevó a 3,8% en 1991. Se fijó una tasa de conversión de ambos marcos de manera que el oriental fuera más alto de manera de favorecer el poder de compra de la gente de la antigua RDA, sin embargo esto también provocó que sus precios fueran menos competitivos, con lo que bajó la producción y en consecuencia aumentó el desempleo. Es así como occidente comenzó a recibir un gran flujo de inmigrantes de Alemania Oriental y de personas de otros países de habla alemana, lo que comenzó a complicar el sistema habitacional y los servicios. Se pensaba que las privatizaciones de empresas de Alemania Oriental iba a ayudar a financiar los gastos, sin embargo este proceso recaudó muchísimo menos que los presupuestado, por lo que el déficit gubernamental aumentó. Alemania Occidental se había caracterizado por tener superávit en cuenta corriente, sin embargo en 1991 tuvo un déficit de cerca de USD 20 mil millones (1,2% del PIB), provocado principalmente por la baja en las exportaciones y el aumento en sus importaciones Producto del retraso de Oriente y para detener la migración a Occidente antes descrita, se comenzaron a hacer transferencias directas de recursos a Oriente, las que en 1991 alcanzaron los 150 mil millones de marcos alemanes, lo que represento el 5,8% del PIB, lo que produjo un déficit fiscal de 4,4%. Estas transferencias fueron financiadas por medio de fuerte endeudamiento por parte del gobierno alemán, el que llegó ese año a casi un 45% del PIB.

Pregunta 2: Explique como funciona el sistema monetario europeo.

El Sistema Monetario Europeo (EMS) fue introducido en 1979 con el fin de estabilizar las tasas de cambio. Consistía en un mecanismo de fijación del tipo de cambio de cada moneda en relación a todas las otras monedas de los países que estaban adheridos, estableciendo así una paridad cambiara y obligaba que le relación entre monedas fluctuara entre dos bandas fijas. Cuando el tipo de cambio real traspasaba o se acercaba al límite superior o inferior se les pedía a los Banco Centrales de los dos países involucrados que intervinieran de manera de que volviera a moverse dentro de los rangos determinados. Esta intervención se materializaba utilizando las reservas de moneda extranjera o emitiendo su propia divisa, de manera de reinsertar la moneda en las bandas acordadas en el EMS. Es así como en el caso de que un país se viera que su moneda está devaluada, el Banco Central debe comenzar a deshacerse de reservas internacionales, que tiene cómo limite la cantidad de reservas que posea. En contra partida, si la moneda local está cara, el banco central debe comenzar a acumular reservas por medio de compras de monedas extranjeras, la que se puede llevar a cabo por medio de la emisión, lo que puede provocar un aumento de la inflación.

Pregunta 3: ¿Cómo impactó la reunificación alemana el sistema monetario europeo? ¿Ud. Habría apostado contra la Libra Esterlina?¿porque?

La reunificación Alemana provocó finalmente la desarticulación del sistema monetario europeo, dado que algunos países se vieron forzados a sacar sus monedas del mecanismo de fijación de tipo de cambio para poder devaluar sus monedas. Previo a la reunificación y previendo un aumento en la demanda de sus productos, Alemania intentó convencer a los miembros del EMS de aumentar el valor del marco de manera de restarse competitividad, lo que fue rechazado.
Una vez comenzado el proceso de reunificación y como estaba previsto, la demanda de productos alemanes aumento considerablemente, provocando un presiones inflacionarias. Con una economía recalentada, el alto déficit de provocado por los mayores gastos y la imposibilidad política de aumentar los impuestos, Alemania debió aumentar las tasas de interés. Esta determinación obligó a los otros países miembros a subir también sus tasas de interés, con el fin de lograr mantener sus respectivas monedas dentro de las bandas acordadas por el EMS. Sin embargo, las economías europeas se encontraban en un ciclo de bajo crecimiento y desempleo que se había mantenido por mucho tiempo alto, problemas que se verían agudizados por el alza en las tasas de interés. Esto, se sumaba a la pérdida de competitividad de las monedas adheridas al EMS frente al dólar. En caso de contar con antecedentes que te hagan suponer que una moneda se va a devaluar, tiene sentido apostar en su contra. Estos problemas eran comunes en gran parte de Europa y por cierto estaban afectando a Inglaterra. Es así que se podía suponer que el Banco Central Ingles se iba a ver obligado a abandonar el EMS con el fin de recuperar la flexibilidad de administrar el tipo de cambio a su conveniencia, de manera que si la economía se seguía estancando, pudiera devaluar la Libra Esterlina sin restricciones.

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