Agir ou se taire

NEW YORK – En matière de politique publique, de pourparlers de paix, de campagnes électorales ou de stratégie d'entreprise, exposer des intentions, des promesses et des engagements ne suffit jamais. Ce n'est qu'une première étape vers une fin souhaitée (et tout à fait dénuée de sens à moins que ne soient prises les deuxième, troisième mesures, ainsi que toutes les mesures nécessaires suivantes. En outre, prendre l'initiative de la première étape enclenche le compte à rebours de la confiance mutuelle grâce à laquelle les prochaines étapes seront effectivement entreprises par les autres. Si ce n'est pas le cas, cela risque de créer la fausse impression que l'incapacité d'atteindre un objectif particulier reflète des intentions erronées (voire non pertinentes), plutôt qu'une mauvaise exécution. Nous pouvons trouver des exemples de cela pratiquement partout.

Voyons par exemple l'annonce faite en janvier par la Banque Centrale Européenne de mettre en œuvre l'assouplissement quantitatif. À l'époque, de nombreux dirigeants semblaient penser que ce coup de la BCE suffirait : l'annonce une fois faite et la planche à billets mise en marche, l'économie serait alors remise d'aplomb. Malheureusement ce n'est pas comme cela que fonctionne la politique monétaire : l'assouplissement quantitatif ne suffira pas et personne ne doit être naïf à ce sujet.

Afin de remettre l'économie d'aplomb, l'assouplissement quantitatif est une étape utile, mais seulement dans le cadre d'un ensemble de mesures plus étendu. En l'absence d'autres réformes économiques, l'assouplissement quantitatif à lui seul ne peut réaliser les changements nécessaires pour relancer la croissance. Et si les réformes ne sont pas mises en œuvre et que la croissance ne se concrétise pas, les politiciens sont susceptibles de rejeter la faute sur l'assouplissement quantitatif, pas sur leur propre échec à prendre toutes les autres mesures qui doivent suivre sur la voie du redressement économique.

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