L'Argentine se redresse

Les premières lueurs du redressement de l'Argentine se profilent à l'horizon. Pour beaucoup, ce qui s'est passé, et ce qui se passe encore, dans ce pays constitue un mystère. L'abandon de la " convertibilité " (un système de taux de change fixe) était censé être un désastre, ce qui fut le cas. La production a chuté et le chômage a augmenté de manière spectaculaire. La crainte de ces coûts, combinée à des renflouements du FMI, a empêché l'Argentine d'abandonner son conseil monétaire bien après qu'il soit devenu évident que le système ne pouvait pas être maintenu. Cet entêtement a empiré la situation lorsque tout s'est effondré.

Mais ce fut surtout la crainte d'une inflation galopante qui a conservé l'attachement des Argentins à un système qui ne pouvait pas fonctionner. Lorsque j'ai demandé autour de moi, lors de mes voyages à Buenos Aires, pourquoi l'Argentine persistait dans cette folie économique, tous m'ont fait la même réponse : " Oui, lorsque le Brésil s'est effondré, son inflation est restée modérée ; mais le Brésil est le Brésil, et nous sommes l'Argentine ". Je pouvais presque sentir de la fierté dans le manque de confiance des Argentins dans leurs institutions et dans la capacité de ces dernières à gérer le pays sans les chaînes de la convertibilité.

L'inflation galopante tant crainte ne s'est pas matérialisée jusqu'à présent. On ne peut pas nier que l'inflation normale a été associée à d'importantes augmentations des prix à l'importation qui suivent toujours les fortes dévaluations, mais plutôt que de déclencher une spirale d'augmentations tarifaires, les taux d'inflation paraissent diminuer. L'Argentine semble vraisemblablement rejoindre la longue liste de pays (Brésil, Corée, Russie, Thaïlande et Indonésie) qui ont géré des dévaluations sans inflation galopante.

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