L'envie européenne du dollar

Les devises peuvent jouer un rôle essentiel non seulement dans les transactions commerciales, mais également dans les disputes diplomatiques et politiques. Lorsque cela se produit, les transactions commerciales deviennent plus difficiles et sujettes à une plus grande incertitude. La politisation de l'argent lors de la dépression de l'entre-deux-guerres s'est révélée économiquement dévastatrice. Mais de violentes guerres des devises se sont déroulées plus récemment.

Au cours des années 1960, l'ordre monétaire international est devenu l'objet d'une lutte politique acharnée. Chaque protagoniste avait des théories et des explications sensiblement différentes sur la situation. Les Européens, et tout particulièrement les Français, se plaignaient de ce que le général Charles de Gaulle qualifiait de « privilège exorbitant » du dollar américain. Le général et son gourou monétaire, Jacques Rueff, soutenaient que les Etats-Unis utilisaient le statut du dollar comme devise de réserve majeure du régime de taux de change fixe de Bretton Woods afin de gérer les déficits et de payer leur aventurisme militaire à l'étranger (à cette époque au Vietnam).

La France a réagi en appelant à une réforme monétaire qui mettrait fin au rôle particulier du dollar et a tenté de ressusciter l'étalon or largement discrédité. Les Européens ont entamé une longue discussion sur les avantages de l'union monétaire, dont la réalisation leur permettrait de concurrencer le dollar.

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