Obama à mi-parcours

NEW YORK – En septembre 2008, l’économie et le système financier internationaux ont été frappés par un tremblement de terre dont l’épicentre était aux Etats-Unis. C’était la fin de l’administration Bush. On était à deux mois de l’élection présidentielle. Le moment, en terme de gestion de crise, n’aurait pu être pire

Le niveau d’incertitude sur la valeur des titres, sur la solvabilité et sur la connexité des feuilles de bilans qui prévalait à l’époque était incroyablement élevé. L’incertitude nourrissant les craintes, les banques et les particuliers ont ressorti leurs bas de laine. La consommation a chuté, entrainant dans son sillage les ventes au détail, puis, peu de temps après, les emplois et l’investissement. Des choix rationnels individuels ont entrainé des résultats collectivement irrationnels.

Tous les éléments d’un scénario de récession étaient réunis : le rationnement du crédit mettant à mal les entreprises de façon indiscriminée, il fallait une action rapide, agressive et non conventionnelle du gouvernement américain et de la Réserve Fédérale. La réponse mise au point par l’administration Bush, et reprise par celle d’Obama, reprit tous les éléments cités précédemment. Une combinaison constituée d’une recapitalisation du secteur financier et d’une expansion conséquente de la feuille de bilan de la Fed a permis d’éviter un blocage intégral du crédit.

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