Une reprise durable ?

NEW HAVEN – Il n'y a guère qu'une poignée d'économistes à avoir prévu la crise et ils ne s'accordent pas sur ses causes profondes. Aussi ils ne sont pas spécialement bien placés pour dire quand elle va se terminer.

Nous en connaissons les causes immédiates : une diminution de la consommation due à une baisse des revenus ou aux menaces sur l'emploi, ces deux éléments se combinant parfois. Considérons l'étape précédente : les revenus ont baissé et les emplois sont menacés parce qu'auparavant la consommation était insuffisante. On peut remonter ainsi de proche en proche dans le temps. C'est un cercle vicieux, mais où et quand a-t-il commencé ? Pourquoi la situation s'est-elle aggravée ? Que faire pour y remédier ? Les économistes n'offrent pas de réponse claire à ces questions.

L'état du savoir économique était aussi pitoyable lors de la Grande dépression qui a suivi le crash de 1929 ; de même qu'aujourd'hui les économistes ne l'avaient pas prévue. Dans les années 1920, certains ont bien signalé une hausse excessive de la Bourse, mais ils n'ont pas prévu la dizaine d'années de dépression qui allait affecter toute l'économie.

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