Le Capitalisme Scientifique

PRINCETON – Pour comprendre la pagaille économique dans laquelle nous nous sommes mis, il est inutile d’avoir recours à des explications savantes sur les produits dérivés, les défaillances du système de régulation et ainsi de suite. La réponse se trouve dans une notion ancienne et simple à la fois: l’hubris.

Dans le monde riche, les théoriciens de l’économie mathématique moderne ont été nombreux à décider que l’on avait fini par mettre au point une série d’outils scientifiques autorisant réellement à prévoir le comportement humain. Ces outils étaient censés être aussi fiables que ceux que l’on utilise en ingénierie financière. Ayant enterré le socialisme scientifique à la fin de la Guerre froide, on s’est empressé d’embrasser une nouvelle Science de l’Homme.

Nos nouveaux credos ne s’appuyaient ni sur une nouvelle expérience, ni sur une observation inédite, comme l’eût fait un vrai changement de paradigme scientifique. Les économistes n’ont pas pour habitude de conduire leurs expériences avec du vrai argent, mais quand cela arrive, comme c’est arrivé à Myron Scholes, lauréat du prix Nobel d’économie et gérant-associé du hedge fund Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), les dangers l’emportent souvent sur les profits (une leçon qui reste encore à apprendre, semble-t-il.) Et, attendu qu’en économie toute expérience ou presque a des résultats imprévisibles, aucune n’a encore eu le pouvoir de changer un paradigme économique.

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