Paul Lachine

Les idolâtres de la finance doivent céder la place

CAMBRIDGE – La course au premier poste économique de la planète est ouverte. Le mandat du président de la Réserve fédérale américaine, Ben Bernanke, s'achève en janvier et d'ici là le président Obama doit décider s'il le nomme pour un deuxième mandat ou s'il choisit quelqu'un d'autre. Les noms que l'on entend le plus souvent sont ceux de Larry Summers et de Janet Yellen, des membres de renom du parti démocrate.

Ce sera une décision d'une importance cruciale non seulement pour l'économie américaine mais pour toute l'économie mondiale. Responsables de l'approvisionnement en monnaie d'un pays et des taux d'intérêt à court terme, les banques centrales ont toujours eu un rôle clé. Une trop grande baisse des taux d'intérêt et c'est l'inflation et l'instabilité monétaire. Une trop grande hausse et l'économie s'enfonce dans la récession et le chômage.

La politique monétaire n'est pas vraiment une science, aussi un bon président de banque centrale doit-il faire preuve d'humilité. Il doit tenir compte des limites de ce qu'il peut comprendre et de ce qui est réalisable ou pas avec les outils à sa disposition. En même temps il ne peut se permettre d'apparaître indécis, car cela inciterait à une spéculation déstabilisatrice.

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