O presidente da Reserva Federal faz uma excelente análise da situação económica nos EUA (http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/bernanke20081007a.htm):
"Economic activity had shown signs of decelerating even before the recent upsurge in financial-market tensions. As has been the case for some time, the housing market continues to be a primary source of weakness in the real economy as well as in the financial markets. However, the slowdown in economic activity has spread outside the housing sector. Private payrolls have continued to contract, and the declines in employment, together with earlier increases in food and energy prices, have eroded the purchasing power of households. This sluggishness of real incomes, together with tighter credit and declining household wealth, is now showing through more clearly to consumer spending. Indeed, since May, real consumer outlays have contracted significantly. Meanwhile, in the business sector, worsening sales prospects and a heightened sense of uncertainty have begun to weigh more heavily on investment spending as well.
The intensification of financial turmoil and the further impairment of the functioning of credit markets seem likely to increase the restraint on economic activity in the period ahead. Even households with good credit histories are now facing difficulties obtaining mortgage loans or home equity lines of credit. Banks are also reducing credit card limits, and denial rates on automobile loan applications reportedly are rising. Businesses, too, are confronting diminished access to credit. For example, disruptions in the commercial paper market and tightening of bank lending standards have made it more difficult for businesses to obtain the working capital they need to meet everyday operating expenses such as payrolls and inventories.
All told, economic activity is likely to be subdued during the remainder of this year and into next year. The heightened financial turmoil that we have experienced of late may well lengthen the period of weak economic performance and further increase the risks to growth."
Perante este cenário não é de estranhar que as bolsas nos EUA tenham caído mais de 5% com o S&P500 a fechar abaixo dos 1000 pontos. Esta queda acentuou-se na última hora de negociação e depois do fecho tivemos um início da "earnings season" com a Alcoa (um dos componentes do Dow http://www.cnbc.com/id/27071615) a ficar muio abaixo das expectativas (37 centimos por acção contra os 53 esperados), pelo que é de esperar que a Europa abra amanhã em forte baixa.
Finalmente uma nota para as conclusões do Conselho ECOFIN (http://www.ue2008.fr/PFUE/lang/en/accueil/PFUE-10_2008/PFUE-07.10.2008/pid/14239)
que define um conjunto de princípios mais ou menos vagos e genéricos que serão aplicados a nível nacional, sendo de salientar que parece haver uma especial preocupação com os eventuais efeitos adversos das decisões de outros Estados-Membros. Quanto ao resto é do melhor europês com destaque para a conclusão de que "fiscal prudence is necessary to support confidence notably in view of the ageing of the population and to ensure a good mix between fiscal and monetary policy. The 2005 reformed Stability and growth Pact is the adequate framework and should be fully applied. It contains flexibility to allow for fiscal policy to play its normal stabilisation function. In particular, relatively large European automatic stabilisers can help cushion the slowdown, while respecting the 3% of GDP deficit threshold. In countries facing
more severe slowdown and where room for manoeuvre exists, temporary and targeted
measures may be taken, notably towards those most affected by the current economic
situation. They would also have to take into account the specific challenges of the
country concerned, i.a. the need to recover competitiveness." (que é exercício de equilíbrio notável entre a defesa da ortodoxia orçamental e a abertura para políticas orçamentais mais activas).
Entretanto deixo um link para o artigo que Krugman com um modelo sobre os mecanismos de transmissão da actual crise (http://www.princeton.edu/~pkrugman/finmult.pdf). A ler.