Le nouveau réalisme macroéconomique de la BCE

NEW YORK – La Banque centrale européenne s’est finalement décidée à appliquer une politique d’assouplissement quantitatif (QE). À ce stade, la question essentielle consiste à savoir si l’Allemagne conférera à la BCE la marge de manœuvre nécessaire pour mettre en œuvre cette expansion monétaire de manière suffisamment audacieuse.

Bien que le QE ne permette pas de générer une croissance à long terme, cette politique peut considérablement dégager le chemin vers la fin de cette récession qui affecte la zone euro depuis 2008. Le marchés boursiers européens, exceptionnellement élevés cette semaine dans un contexte d’anticipation du QE, indiquent en effet non seulement une confiance croissante, mais constituent également un canal direct via lequel l’assouplissement monétaire peut dynamiser à la fois l’investissement et la consommation. 

Un certain nombre d’observateurs, tels que le prix Nobel Paul Krugman et l’ancien Secrétaire du Trésor américain Larry Summers, continuent toutefois de douter de l’efficacité du QE. Comme l’a récemment fait valoir Krugman, un « vortex déflationniste » pèserait sur l’économie mondiale, la chute des prix entraînant une inéluctable spirale baissière de la demande. Des propos dont semblent convenir la Banque mondiale et le Fonds monétaire international, tous deux ayant dernièrement revu légèrement à la baisse leurs prévisions de croissance.

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