¿Me he vuelto loco?
No. Resulta que a pesar de la retórica populista y hostilidad hacia algunas partes del sector privado, incluidas nacionalizaciones muy poco recomendables, Evo no hace las cosas mal en términos de gestión económica. Para empezar, a diferencia de sus coleguitas Hugo, Rafael (Correa) y el matrimonio Kirchner mantiene su relación con el Fondo Monetario Internacional, invitándoles anualmente a que realicen la consulta del Artículo IV sobre su economía.
La última valoración concluyó la semana pasada. El FMI le da a Evo el aprobado (por lo menos con un notable me parece a mí): el superávit en las cuentas públicas de 2008 ha desaparecido en 2009, pero sigue sin haber déficit; la inflación sigue bajando; el sistema financiero sigue sólido y a pesar de ello se han tomado medidas preventivas como incrementar los márgenes de reserva.
Para mí es toda una sorpresa. Copio los últimos párrafos de la nota de prensa del equipo del FMI:
Executive Directors commended the Bolivian authorities for their continued sound macroeconomic management and effective policy response to mitigate the impact of the global crisis. Growth has been among the highest in Latin America and inflation has declined sharply in a context of financial stability. Fiscal policy has focused on protecting social and infrastructure spending; the temporary stabilization of the Boliviano against the US dollar has provided a nominal anchor, protecting the substantial de-dollarization already achieved; and lower interest rates have supported credit demand. Looking forward, Directors concurred that the key challenges are to maintain long-term fiscal sustainability through prudent management of the country’s natural resource wealth and to further reduce the high poverty rate by boosting growth through structural reforms and increased investment.
Directors generally supported a gradual tightening of monetary conditions as the economy rebounds. Mopping up the abundant liquidity in the banking sector would prevent excessive credit creation, foreign-exchange pressures, or a pick-up in inflation. Directors noted the staff’s assessment of no significant evidence of exchange-rate misalignment. They welcomed the authorities’ readiness to revise the rate of crawl of the exchange rate when called for by fundamentals and market conditions. Over the medium term, most Directors encouraged the authorities to set the stage for greater exchange rate flexibility, once low dollarization is entrenched and domestic financial markets have gained greater depth. A few Directors however saw no need to move in this direction, noting that the current regime has served the country well. To strengthen the independence of monetary policy, Directors considered that central bank financing of the government or public corporations should be avoided.
Directors welcomed the authorities’ sound fiscal policy, with public debt expected to continue to decline gradually over the next few years. Given the budget’s reliance on revenue from natural resources, they encouraged the authorities to strengthen the non-hydrocarbon balance to generate additional savings over the medium- and long term. At the same time, it will be important to strike a balance between ensuring intergenerational equity and addressing near-term physical and human capital needs.
Directors welcomed the fiscal reforms under consideration. They looked forward to steps to strengthen direct taxation, simplify the tax system, rebalance spending responsibilities and revenue assignments across the national and subnational levels of government, and establish a formal framework for the fiscal management of natural resources. Directors concurred that gradually phasing out fuel subsidies would create room for strengthening the fiscal position while further expanding development spending and social programs.
In the financial sector, Directors encouraged the authorities to focus on pending reforms while maintaining the existing strong financial supervision. Priorities are the creation of a deposit insurance scheme, the finalization of the preventative institutional framework for resolving insolvent financial institutions, and the expansion of the perimeter of regulation and supervision to cooperatives and other unregulated financial institutions. Directors welcomed the authorities’ interest in an FSAP update. A few Directors encouraged further strengthening of the legislation on anti-money laundering and the operations of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
Directors stressed that—along with the promotion of public-private partnerships—improving the investment climate is key to boosting Bolivia’s future growth prospects. They highlighted that the upcoming reform of the legal and institutional framework should lead to a clear and stable environment for private investment, including by introducing better procedures for enterprise restructuring to develop the domestic credit market.