quarta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2009

Martin Wolff muito desiludido com Obama

Martin Wolff publica hoje no Finantial Times mais um artigo muito pertinente, em que critica fortemente o novo plano de ajuda financeira de Obama.


“it is extraordinary that a popular new president, confronting a once-in-80-years’ economic crisis, has let Congress shape the outcome.”

All along two contrasting views have been held on what ails the financial system. The first is that this is essentially a panic. The second is that this is a problem of insolvency.”

“Under the first view, the prices of a defined set of “toxic assets” have been driven below their long-run value and in some cases have become impossible to sell. The solution, many suggest, is for governments to make a market, buy assets or insure banks against losses. This was the rationale for the original Tarp and the “super-SIV (special investment vehicle)” proposed by Henry (Hank) Paulson, the previous Treasury secretary, in 2007.

“Under the second view, a sizeable proportion of financial institutions are insolvent: their assets are, under plausible assumptions, worth less than their liabilities. The International Monetary Fund argues that potential losses on US-originated credit assets alone are now $2,200bn (€1,700bn, £1,500bn), up from $1,400bn just last October. This is almost identical to the latest estimates from Goldman Sachs. In recent comments to the Financial Times, Nouriel Roubini of RGE Monitor and the Stern School of New York University estimates peak losses on US-generated assets at $3,600bn. Fortunately for the US, half of these losses will fall abroad. But, the rest of the world will strike back: as the world economy implodes, huge losses abroad – on sovereign, housing and corporate debt – will surely fall on US institutions, with dire effects.

Personally, I have little doubt that the second view is correct and, as the world economy deteriorates, will become ever more so. But this is not the heart of the matter. That is whether, in the presence of such uncertainty, it can be right to base policy on hoping for the best. The answer is clear: rational policymakers must assume the worst. If this proved pessimistic, they would end up with an over-capitalised financial system. If the optimistic choice turned out to be wrong, they would have zombie banks and a discredited government. This choice is surely a “no brainer”.

Um dado impressionante é que a capitalização bolsista do sector bancário caiu de cerca de 1400 bn de dólares para cerca de 400 bn nas últimas semanas. Entretanto, o montante de ajudas públicas foi de 380 bn de dólares. Ou seja, o valor actual dos bancos sem ajudas públicas seria praticamente nulo.

Já havia uma forte desilusão sobre o plano americano de recuperação económica. Mas se o plano financeiro não resolver o problema, é como se voltássemos ao princípio. Nova deterioração financeira, leva a nova deterioração económica. Se o plano económico era fraco, ainda mais insuficiente ficaria com deterioração económica. Parece que não se aprenderam as lições da Grande Depressão.

1 comentário:

Carlos Santos disse...

Gostei da análise. O Martin Wolff tem defendido um ponto de vista que partilho: a ajuda financeira só vir do FMI. Mas o Nouriel Rubini sugere mesmo uma nacionalização do tipo Suécia anos 90. Tudo me parece melhor do que o que Geithner balbuciou terça e que deixo aqui um link para a análise: