Paul Lachine

Le monde enchanté de Ben Bernanke

BERKELEY – Le président de la Réserve fédérale américaine Ben Bernanke n’est pas considéré comme un oracle comme l’était son prédécesseur, Alan Greenspan, avant la crise financière. Les marchés financiers n’en étaient pas moins tout ouïe lors du discours prononcé par Bernanke à Jackson Hole, au Wyoming, le 26 août dernier. Mais ce qu’ils ont entendu était confus.

Tout d’abord, Bernanke n’a pas proposé un nouvel assouplissement de la politique monétaire pour soutenir une reprise en perte de vitesse – ou, plus exactement, l’absence de reprise. Ensuite, il a assuré ses auditeurs que « nous nous attendons à ce que la reprise modérée se poursuive, voire même se renforce, en partie parce que les ménages ont fait des progrès dans le rétablissement de leurs bilans – en épargnant davantage, en empruntant moins et en réduisant le poids du paiement de leurs dettes et intérêts ». De plus, la baisse des prix des denrées de base « contribue à améliorer le pouvoir d’achat des ménages ».

Enfin, Bernanke a affirmé que « les fondamentaux de la croissance des Etats-Unis ne semblent pas avoir été altérés de manière permanente par les chocs des quatre dernières années ».

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