Les Avenirs opposés de l’Amérique

J’ai récemment découvert un fait intéressant : les économistes américains qui s’occupent de finance internationale et les macroéconomistes américains qui s’occupent de l’économie domestique ont des points de vue très différents – en fait, opposés – sur les conséquences possibles de l’énorme déficit américain. Les économistes de la finance internationale considèrent qu’une crise financière est possible, suivie d’une récession douloureuse et peut-être prolongée aux États-Unis. Les macroéconomistes qui traitent de l’économie intérieure au contraire voient une prochaine chute de la valeur du dollar non pas comme une crise mais comme une occasion d’accélérer la croissance.

Les macroéconomistes qui examinent l’économie intérieure considèrent généralement la situation comme suit : à un moment donné dans l’avenir, les banques centrales étrangères seront moins enclines à poursuivre leurs achats massifs de sécurités en dollar pour soutenir le billet vert. Quand elles mettront fin à leurs programmes d’achat de dollar à grande échelle, la valeur du dollar chutera, et elle chutera fortement.

Et, de ce point de vue, si la valeur du dollar décline, les exportations américaines deviendront bien plus attrayantes pour les marchés étrangers et le marché de l’emploi américain reprendra, la main d’œuvre étant redirigée vers les nouveaux secteurs d’exportation en plein boum. La situation sera comparable à celle de la Grande-Bretagne quand elle abandonna son indexation de taux de changes et laissa la livre sterling se déprécier par rapport au mark allemand, ou ce qui se produisit aux États-Unis à la fin des années 1980 quand le dollar se déprécia par rapport à la livre, au mark et – surtout – par rapport au yen japonais.

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