Janet Yellen Brookings Institution/Flickr

La Fed amorce une réduction des inégalités

NEW YORK – C’est enfin chose faite, la Réserve fédérale américaine vient de rehausser les taux d’intérêt pour la première fois depuis près d’une décennie. Les ramifications en termes d’écarts de taux d’intérêt, en termes d’actions sur les marchés émergents, en matière de demande de logements, et dans bien d’autres domaines, sont actuellement largement débattues à travers le monde. À l’heure où les marchés vont devoir s’habituer à une politique monétaire moins conciliante, un important aspect positif pourrait toutefois en découler, que la plupart des observateurs semblent pourtant négliger.

Aux États-Unis, les inégalités de revenus et de richesses se sont régulièrement creusées depuis l’apparition de la crise financière mondiale en 2008. L’actuelle normalisation de la politique monétaire pourrait ici amorcer la fin de cette tendance. Il faut en effet s’attendre à ce que cette normalisation accélère l’inversion du phénomène.

Examinons quelques chiffres peu flatteurs, révélateurs de l’état actuel des choses. Le revenu médian réel des ménages américains (ajusté à l’inflation) est à peu près identique à celui de 1979. Une récente étude publiée par le Pew Research Center a révélé que les Américains avaient touché en 2014 des revenus inférieurs de 4 % à ceux perçus en 2000, et que pour la première fois depuis 40 ans, la classe moyenne américaine ne représentait plus une majorité de la population.

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