Safia Osman/Flickr

La voie vers le plein investissement

LONDRES – Un spectre hante les trésors publics et les banques centrales d'Occident : celui de la stagnation séculaire. Que faire s'il ne devait y avoir aucune reprise durable après la crise économique de 2008-2013 ? Que faire si les sources de croissance économique sont taries, non pas temporairement, mais à titre permanent ?

Ce nouveau pessimisme ne vient pas des marxistes, qui ont toujours cherché des signes avant-coureurs de l'effondrement du capitalisme, mais du cœur des instances dirigeantes : Larry Summers, ancien secrétaire du Trésor américain du président américain Bill Clinton et économiste en chef de presque toutes les grandes institutions.

La thèse de Summers consiste en bref à dire que si la rentabilité attendue de l'investissement est en baisse, les taux d'intérêt doivent baisser dans la même mesure. Mais les taux d'intérêt ne peuvent pas tomber en deçà de zéro (en fait, ils peuvent être bloqués au-dessus de zéro s'il existe un fort désir d'augmenter les soldes de trésorerie). Il pourrait en résulter des attentes de bénéfices futurs tombant en deçà du taux d'intérêt.

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