Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Pavel Ko

La déconnexion entre actions et obligations

CAMBRIDGE – Comment comprendre le manque de corrélation entre les nouveaux sommets atteints par les indices boursiers internationaux et les nouveaux bas des taux d’intérêts réels dans le monde ? Plusieurs explications concurrentes tentent de concilier ces tendances. Il est essentiel de bien comprendre de quoi il retourne pour définir une politique monétaire et budgétaire adéquate.

Les explications les plus courantes minimisent les facteurs de risque d’une manière qui peut être dangereusement trompeuse. Par exemple, la théorie de la stagnation séculaire veut que les faibles taux d’intérêt reflètent la réalité, que l’économie mondiale souffre d’une insuffisance chronique de la demande à laquelle il serait possible de remédier au moyen d’une augmentation continue des dépenses publiques.

Selon ce point de vue, la flambée des marchés boursiers ne fait que refléter un faible taux d’actualisation des bénéfices futurs. De plus, la part de revenus de la population active semble avoir fortement diminué ces dernières décennies dans les huit principales économies mondiales, à l’exception éventuelle du Royaume-Uni. Inversement, la part de revenus du capital augmente, ce qui fait à son tour augmenter le cours des actions (bien que la valeur des actions ait continué à s’apprécier aux Etats-Unis et au Royaume-Uni, des pays où la part de revenus de la population active a entamé une reprise cyclique partielle et où une hausse des taux d’intérêt est possible à moyen terme).

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