La théorie économique face à la crise des prêts à risque

Les voix qui s'élèvent pour exiger que les responsables de la crise financière actuelle en subissent les conséquences rappelle le fameux discours "de la Croix d'or" du grand orateur américain William Jennings Bryan de 1896. Critiquant l'étalon-or, il avait ironisé en comparant l'étalon-or à l'égard du commun des gens à la couronne d'épine sur le front du Christ et en appelant à ne pas crucifier l'humanité sur une croix d'or. Autrement dit, la population ne doit pas payer pour les erreurs des décideurs politiques fascinés par telle ou telle théorie économique dépassée.

Aujourd'hui, cette théorie consiste à dire qu'un changement rapide de choix - selon une expression colorée, "moins d'appétence pour le risque" - est la raison principale de la crise financière déclenchée par la débâcle dans le secteur des prêts immobiliers à risque. Pour éviter que cette appétence n'augmente dans le futur, les décideurs politiques et les gourous de l'économie ont porté toute leur attention sur le "risque subjectif" : les "profiteurs " doivent payer pour leurs erreurs, afin de leur faire perdre l'envie de recommencer.

On aurait pu s'attendre à ce que les William Jennings Bryan d'aujourd'hui appellent les banquiers à ne pas sacrifier l'humanité sur l'autel du risque subjectif et de l'absence de plan de sauvetage. Mais curieusement, c'est le contraire qui s'est produit.

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