L’Indépendance des banques centrales est-elle aussi bénéfique qu’on le dit ?

Alan Greenspan s’est acquis un statut quasi iconographique en qualité de Gouverneur du Federal Reserve Board (comité de direction de la Réserve Fédérale américaine). Aussi, alors que son mandat touche à sa fin, et que son manteau d’infaillibilité passe à son successeur, il est intéressant d’examiner si son héritage est à la hauteur de sa réputation afin de déterminer ce que nous pouvons attendre du nouveau responsable de la Réserve, Ben Bernanke.

Rares sont les gouverneurs de banque centrale qui jouissent de l’hagiographie dont on auréole M. Greenspan, particulièrement de leur vivant. Mais quelle est la fabrique d’un gouverneur de banque centrale d’exception dans nos sociétés modernes, de grandes institutions ou de grands hommes ?

En économie, nous bénéficions rarement d’une analyse hypothétique clairement définie : l’économie aurait-elle connu de meilleurs résultats ou fonctionné un peu différemment si une autre personne avait pris la barre ? On ne peut savoir avec certitude mais il est indubitable que ceux qui « gèrent » l’économie se voient accorder une qualité plus importante que ce qu’ils méritent réellement, et même parfois moins de reproches.

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