Dean Rohrer

Un « New Deal » mondial ?

ATHENES – Le Fonds monétaire international a récemment reconnu qu'il avait considérablement sous-estimé les dommages que l'austérité aurait provoqués sur les taux de croissance de l'Union européenne. Cet aveu tardif met en évidence le caractère autodestructeur des recettes « orthodoxes » pour solutionner les causes de la crise de la dette qui a suivi le crash financier de 2008-2009.

La théorie conventionnelle suggère qu'un pays (ou groupe de pays) qui consolide individuellement ses finances peut s'attendre à des taux d'intérêt plus bas, une monnaie plus faible et une position commerciale améliorée. Mais, parce que cela ne peut pas se produire pour toutes les grandes économies simultanément – l’austérité d'un pays (ou d’un groupe de pays) implique une demande plus faible pour les produits des autres pays – de telles politiques finissent par conduire à des situations de protectionnisme. En effet, c'est cette dynamique – contre laquelle John Maynard Keynes s’est battu – qui a rendu tellement sinistre la Grande Dépression des années 1930.

Les problèmes d’aujourd'hui sont aggravés par une insuffisance de la demande privée – en particulier la consommation des ménages – dans les économies avancées qui ne permet pas de compenser la diminution de la demande découlant des mesures d'austérité. Au cours des deux dernières décennies, la consommation a tiré la croissance économique de ces pays, atteignant des sommets historiques en pourcentage du PIB.

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