Robert Rubin revisité

Les économistes et les historiens discuteront longtemps du contraste qui existe entre les politiques économiques des présidences de Bill Clinton et de George W. Bush. L'Administration Clinton est arrivée au pouvoir avec très peu de cartes en main, et ces cartes étaient extrêmement mauvaises : un héritage sur le long terme d'une croissance économique extrêmement lente, des déficits budgétaires fédéraux colossaux créés par les Administrations de Ronald Reagan/George H. W. Bush entre 1980 et 1992, un taux de chômage « naturel » relativement élevé et une pression inflationniste croissante.

Par contraste, l'Administration de George W. Bush est arrivée au pouvoir avec des cartes incroyablement bonnes : un budget relativement excédentaire, une tendance à la croissance rapide de la productivité alors que la révolution des technologies de l'information atteignait une masse critique, et un taux de chômage « naturel » très bas.

En dépit de ses handicaps, quasiment tout ce que l'équipe de politique économique de Clinton a touché s'est changé en or. Dirigée par Robert Rubin, d'abord assistant du président puis ministre des Finances, elle a transformé les déficits gargantuesques laissés par Reagan/Bush en surplus colossaux. Elle a réussi à améliorer la relance de la croissance des investissements et de la productivité de l'Amérique et elle a poursuivi des initiatives visant à réduire les barrières commerciales. L'équipe de Clinton pourrait également s'attribuer le mérite de la gestion majoritairement réussie des crises financières du Mexique en 1994 et d'Asie entre 1997 et 1998.

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