Janet Yellen Brookings Institution/Flickr

Pourquoi la Fed a enterré le monétarisme

LONDRES – La décision de la Réserve fédérale américaine de retarder une hausse des taux d'intérêt n'a pas vraiment surpris ceux qui ont été attentifs aux commentaires de Janet Yellen, la Présidente de la Fed. La décision de la Fed a simplement confirmé qu'elle ne reste pas indifférente au stress financier international et que son approche de la gestion du risque garde un fort parti pris en faveur du mot d'ordre « plus bas, plus longtemps. » Alors pourquoi les marchés et les médias se comportent-ils comme si l'action de la Fed (ou plus précisément son inaction) était inattendue ?

Ce qui a vraiment choqué les marchés n'a pas été la décision de la Fed de maintenir les taux d'intérêt à zéro à pendant quelques mois, mais la déclaration qui l'accompagnait. La Fed a révélé qu'elle était tout à fait indifférente aux risques de hausse de l'inflation et qu'elle était désireuse de pousser le chômage en deçà de ce que la plupart des économistes considèrent comme son taux « naturel » autour de 5%.

C'est cette relation (entre l'inflation et le chômage), qui est au cœur de toutes les controverses sur la politique monétaire et les banques centrales. Et presque tous les modèles économiques modernes, y compris ceux utilisés par la Fed, se fondent sur la théorie monétariste des taux d'intérêt mise au point par Milton Friedman dans son allocution présidentielle devant l'American Economic Association en 1967.

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