Dur réveil pour l'Amérique

Les faits semblent finalement donner raison aux pessimistes qui prévoyaient de longue date une crise de l'économie américaine. Certes, il n'y a pas de quoi se réjouir de voir la Bourse s'effondrer à cause des nombreux non-remboursements des prêts immobiliers. C'était pourtant prévisible, de même que les conséquences probables pour les millions d'Américains qui vont être confrontés à des difficultés financières, ainsi que pour l'économie mondiale.

L'histoire commence avec la récession de 2001. Avec l'aide du président de la Réserve fédérale, Alan Greenspan, le président Bush a eu une politique de baisse d'impôts qui a bénéficié aux Américains les plus riches, mais n'a pas permis à l'économie de sortir de la récession qui a suivi l'éclatement de la bulle Internet. Après cette bourde, la Fed n'a eu guère d'autre choix pour atteindre son objectif de maintien de la croissance et de l'emploi : elle devait baisser les taux d'intérêt, ce qu'elle a fait d'une manière totalement inédite en descendant jusqu'à 1%.

Elle a réussi, mais d'une manière totalement inhabituelle en matière de politique monétaire. Généralement, des taux d'intérêt faibles conduisent les entreprises à emprunter davantage pour investir davantage, le supplément d'endettement étant compensé par des actifs plus productifs.

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