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Les banques centrales se trompent de modèle économique

NEW YORK – J'écrivais début janvier que la situation économique n'allait sans doute pas s'améliorer par rapport à l'année dernière, la pire depuis la crise financière qui a éclaté en 2008. Et comme cela se produit à de multiples reprises depuis 10 ans, une fois l'année entamée, les prévisions optimistes sont révisées à la baisse.

Le problème sous-jacent est l'insuffisance de la demande agrégée mondiale qui affecte l'économie mondiale depuis le début de la crise. Cette insuffisance s'étant légèrement aggravée,  la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) vient de renforcer sa politique de stimulation économique. Elle rejoint ainsi la Banque du Japon et quelques autres banques centrales en appliquant des taux d'intérêt négatifs, et fait la démonstration que le taux zéro ne constitue une limite que dans l'imagination des économistes classiques.

Et pourtant, nulle part l'application de taux d'intérêt négatifs - mesure non orthodoxe s'il en est - n'a véritablement favorisé la croissance ou l'emploi. Parfois le résultat a été inattendu : le taux de  certains crédits a augmenté.

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