Alan Greenspan sur la sellette

La publication de L’âge des turbulences , les mémoires qu’Alan Greenspan a fait écrire, a fait naître l’accusation qu’après tout, il n’a pas été un si bon banquier central que ça. Stan Collender, du National Journal, voit sur ces attaques la signature de la Maison blanche : en effet, Greenspan critique sévèrement l’administration de George W. Bush, et attaquer la crédibilité d’anciens responsables politiques critiquant Bush est un moyen de défense standard. Mais quid des critiques du mandat de Greenspan à la Fed ?

L’acte d’accusation comporte quatre points : Greenspan aurait accueilli favorablement, à tort, la croissance des prêts hypothécaires à taux variables à risque, qui ont alimenté la bulle immobilière ; il aurait soutenu à tort les réductions fiscales de Bush, il aurait dû contenir la bulle financière des années 1990, et il aurait dû en faire autant avec la bulle immobilière des années 2000.

Greenspan plaide coupable pour les deux premières accusations. Il dit n’avoir pas compris comment la hausse des prêts hypothécaires à risque a poussé les emprunteurs et les investisseurs à prendre des risques dangereux. Il était, dit-il maintenant, concentré sur le fait que les prêts hypothécaires à taux fixes sont des affaires relativement mauvaises pour les emprunteurs en période de basse inflation, ce qui était une erreur.

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