Pour qui sonne le glas de l'Amérique

En ce moment, Ben Bernanke, président du Conseil économique du président Bush, aime à parler d'une “surabondance mondiale de l'épargne” qui aurait produit des taux d'intérêt incroyablement bas dans le monde entier. Ce n'est pas voir les choses sous le bon angle.

L'Amérique n'a sûrement pas de surabondance d'épargne. Son taux d'épargne a été désespérément bas pendant des décennies. Ensuite, l'insouciante politique fiscale de l'administration Bush l'a fait diminuer davantage. La chute des taux d'intérêt de ces dernières années a provoqué une augmentation des prix de l'immobilier et a permis aux membres de la frange haute de la classe moyenne américaine de traiter leurs maisons comme d'énormes distributeurs de billets, diminuant l'épargne encore davantage. L'Amérique possède un déficit d'épargne, pas une surabondance.

Et le reste du monde ? Une surabondance de l'épargne mondiale suggère que pour rééquilibrer l'économie mondiale, il faut des politiques susceptibles de remonter les taux d'intérêt de l'Amérique et d'augmenter la consommation des ménages non-étasuniens. Mais ce que l'économie mondiale est en train d'affronter n'est pas une surabondance de l'épargne, c'est un déficit d'investissement.

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