Dollars et dépression

La chute du dollar provoque une profonde détresse macroéconomique mondiale. Il s’agit aujourd’hui de savoir à quel point cette détresse va s’aggraver. L’économie mondiale court-elle un risque ?

Deux possibilités sont envisageables. Si les épargnants et les investisseurs internationaux s’attendent à une poursuite de la dépréciation du dollar, ils éviteront cette monnaie, à moins qu’ils ne soient incités de façon appropriée à conserver leur argent aux États-Unis et dans ses actifs, ce qui implique que le fossé entre les intérêts des États-Unis et ceux de l’étranger se creuse. En conséquence, le coût du capital aux États-Unis va monter en flèche, décourageant les investissements et réduisant les dépenses de consommation alors que les taux d’intérêt élevés vont réduire la valeur du principal actif des ménages : leur maison.

La récession qui en résulterait pourrait alimenter le pessimisme ambiant et provoquer de nouvelles réductions des dépenses, et accentuer la baisse. Des États-Unis en récession ne serviraient plus d’importateurs de dernier recours au monde, ce qui pourrait bien envoyer aussi le reste du monde dans une récession. Un monde dans lequel tout le monde s’attend à la chute du dollar est un monde en pleine crise économique.

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