Avis de tempête sur le super dollar

CAMBRIDGE - La position de super puissance mondiale des Etats-Unis pourrait-elle être remise en cause si le dollar perdait son statut de « super devise » ? Peut-être pas, mais nul doute que les Américains trouveront bien plus coûteux l’exercice de l’hégémonie mondiale si le dollar venait à tomber de son piédestal.

Jusqu’à présent, les Américains ont engrangé les bénéfices en empruntant à bas prix auprès d’étrangers complaisants et en investissant cet argent dans des actions, des obligations et des terrains à haut rendement à l’étranger. En comptant les plus-values, les Américains ont empoché entre 300 et 400 milliards de dollars par an au cours des dernières années – un montant à peu près équivalent à celui du budget de la Défense américain.

L’ancien président français Valéry Giscard d’Estaing s’était autrefois plaint du « privilège exorbitant » que représentait le dollar américain. Il était scandalisé que les Etats-Unis puissent inonder le monde de leur devise et accumuler des dettes sans pour autant avoir à en payer le prix sous forme d’une hausse de l’inflation ou des taux d’intérêt.

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