Réinventer  la théorie économique

NEW HAVEN – Des modèles économiques déficients sont en grande partie responsables de l’incapacité généralisée des économistes à prédire la crise financière qui a éclaté en 2008. L’absence de modèles fiables signifie que les décideurs économiques et les banquiers centraux n’ont pas été avertis de la tourmente imminente.

Comme George Akerlof et moi-même l’avancions dans notre dernier ouvrage, Animal Spirits , la crise financière actuelle a été créée par des bulles spéculatives sur le marché de l’immobilier, les marchés boursiers, de l’énergie et autres marchés des produits de base. Les bulles sont causées par des réactions en boucle : la hausse des prix spéculatifs encourage l’optimisme qui à son tour encourage l’achat, qui induit une nouvelle hausse des prix –  et ainsi de suite jusqu’au krach.

Mais le mot « bulle » n’apparaît pas dans la plupart des traités ou manuels économiques. De même, une recherche sur les documents de travail produits par les banques centrales et les départements gouvernementaux d’économie ces dernières années ne produit que peu de référence aux « bulles ». En fait, l’idée même de bulles spéculatives est devenue si suspecte au sein de la profession économique et financière que l’évoquer lors d’un séminaire revient à évoquer l’astrologie devant un groupe d’astronomes.

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