L’homme de Davos en pleine dépression

NEW YORK – Depuis 15 ans, j’assiste au Forum économique mondial de Davos. D’ordinaire, les participants font part de leur optimisme sur les bienfaits de la mondialisation, de la technologie et des marchés. Même au moment de la récession de 2001, ils pensaient que le ralentissement économique serait de courte durée.  

Mais cette fois, alors que les dirigeants d'entreprises partagent leurs expériences, on sentirait presque le ciel s’assombrir. L'un des intervenants a résumé cet état d'esprit : on est passé semble-t-il du mode « expansion-récession » à celui d’« expansion-apocalypse ». Tous sont tombés d’accord sur le fait que les prévisions du FMI pour 2009 publiées au moment du Forum, à savoir de stagnation mondiale – plus faible croissance de la période d'après-guerre –, étaient optimistes. Seule note d’optimisme : un intervenant a fait remarquer que les prévisions du consensus de Davos étaient généralement erronées, alors peut-être que cette fois, les prévisions du FMI s'avéreraient excessivement pessimistes.

La perte de foi en les marchés est tout aussi frappante. Lors d’une session de brainstorming à laquelle on a demandé aux nombreux participants quel échec expliquait la crise, la réponse fut retentissante : la croyance que les marchés se corrigent d’eux-mêmes. 

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