Comment créer la prochaine crise

WASHINGTON – Les cercles informés sont vivement divisés sur ce que les douze prochains mois réservent à l’économie globale. Ceux qui se concentrent sur les marchés émergeants insistent sur l’accélération de la croissance, avec certaines prévisions projetant 5% de croissance de la production mondiale. D’autres, inquiets des problèmes en Europe et aux Etats-Unis demeurent plus pessimistes et avancent des projections de croissance à 4% ; et certains envisagent même un retour de la récession.

Le débat est intéressant, mais manque de recul. En réponse à la crise de 2007-2009, les gouvernements de la plupart des pays industrialisés ont mis en place certains des plus importants plan de sauvetage jamais mis en ouvre auparavant pour les grandes institutions financières. Bien sur, le terme ‘sauvetage’ n’est pas politiquement correct et les hommes politiques préfèrent les termes de « soutien en liquidités » ou « protection systémique ». Mais cela revient essentiellement au même : une fois les jetons sur la table, les gouvernements les plus puissants au monde (sur le papier, tout du moins) n’ont eu de cesse de répondre aux besoins et désires de ces gens qui avaient prêté l’argent aux grandes banques.

Et à chaque fois, la logique fut implacable. En effet, si les Etats-Unis n’avaient pas accordé un soutien inconditionnel à Citigroup une première fois en 2008 (sous la présidence de George W. Bush) puis à nouveau en 2009 (sous la présidence de Barack Obama), l’effondrement financier qui s’en serait suivi aurait provoqué une récession globale bien plus profonde et un chômage bien plus élevé dans le monde. De même, si la zone euro ne s’était pas impliquée – avec l’appui du Fond Monétaire International - pour protéger la Grèce et ses créanciers au cours de ces derniers mois, le marasme financier aurait été bien plus profond en Europe et peut-être même au-delà.

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