Le futur incertain de la suprématie des banques centrales

NEWPORT BEACH – L'histoire est pleine de personnalités et d'institutions qui se sont hissées à des positions de suprématie pour mieux s'écrouler un peu plus tard. Dans la plupart des cas, c’est un orgueil démesuré – un sentiment d'invincibilité alimenté par une puissance incontestée – qui entraîna leur perte. Toutefois, dans d'autres cas, l’ascension comme la chute dérivaient davantage des attentes injustifiées de leur entourage.

Au cours des dernières années, les banques centrales des principales économies avancées ont assumé une position quasi-dominante dans l'élaboration de politiques. En 2008, elles ont été appelées à corriger le dysfonctionnement des marchés financiers avant que le monde ne bascule dans une deuxième Grande Dépression. Pendant les cinq années qui ont suivi, elles ont pris une plus grande responsabilité dans la poursuite d’une liste croissante d’objectifs économiques et financiers.

Plus nombreuses sont devenues leurs responsabilités, plus les attentes sur ce que les banques centrales sont capables de réaliser ont augmenté, surtout en ce qui concerne le tiercé gagnant tant recherché d’une plus grande stabilité financière, d’une croissance économique plus rapide et d’une création d'emplois plus soutenue. Ainsi, les gouvernements, qui dans le passé n'appréciaient guère la puissance des banques centrales, sont maintenant heureux de les voir compenser leurs propres déficits de gouvernance économique – tant et si bien que certains législateurs semblent se sentir autorisés à adopter un comportement irresponsable à répétition.

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