L’histoire secrète de la crise financière

PRINCETON – Le grand roman de Balzac Illusions perdues se termine par une tirade sur la différence entre « l'histoire officielle », qui est un « tissu de mensonges », et « l’histoire secrète » – c'est à dire la vraie histoire. Dans le temps, il était possible de cacher les vérités scandaleuses de l'histoire pendant longtemps – voire pour toujours. Plus maintenant.

Ceci n'est nulle part aussi apparent que dans les récits de la crise financière mondiale. L'histoire officielle dépeint la Réserve fédérale américaine, la Banque centrale européenne et les autres grandes banques centrales comme adoptant une action coordonnée pour sauver le système financier mondial de la catastrophe. Cependant, les transcriptions publiées récemment des réunions de 2008 du Federal Open Market Committee, le principal organe de décision de la Fed, révèlent que, dans les faits, la Fed a émergé de la crise en tant que la banque centrale du monde, tout en continuant à servir en premier lieu les intérêts américains.

Les réunions les plus importantes se sont déroulées le 16 septembre et le 28 octobre – à la suite de l'effondrement de la banque d'investissement américaine Lehman Brothers – et portaient sur la création d'accords bilatéraux d'échange de devises visant à assurer une liquidité adéquate. La Fed y avait décidé d’accorder des crédits en dollars à des banques étrangères en échange de devises, que la banque étrangère acceptait de racheter après une période spécifiée au même taux de change, plus les intérêts. Cela fournissait aux banques centrales – en particulier celles de l'Europe, qui faisaient face à une pénurie de dollars après la fuite des investisseurs américains – les dollars dont elles avaient besoin pour prêter aux institutions financières domestiques en difficulté.

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