Ben Bernanke Larry Summers Wikimedia Commons

Le problème de la stagnation séculaire

DELHI – Dans un échange récent entre l'ancien président de la Réserve fédérale américaine Ben Bernanke et l'ancien Secrétaire au Trésor des États-Unis Larry Summers sur la plausibilité de la stagnation séculaire, un point d'accord a été le besoin de parvenir à 'une perspective mondiale. Mais de ce point de vue, l'hypothèse d'une stagnation séculaire dans la période qui a conduit à la crise financière mondiale de 2008 est en contradiction avec un fait central : la croissance mondiale a été en moyenne supérieure à 4%, le taux le plus élevé jamais enregistré.

Le même problème hante l'hypothèse de Bernanke, selon laquelle la croissance lente reflète un « excès d'épargne mondiale. » D'un point de vue keynésien, une augmentation de l'épargne ne peut pas expliquer le regain d'activité que le monde a connu au début des années 2000.

Les partisans de l'hypothèse de la stagnation séculaire ont apparemment identifié le mauvais problème. Du point de vue réellement séculaire et mondial, la difficulté réside dans l'explication du boom d'avant la crise. Plus précisément, il se trouve dans l'explication de la conjonction de trois grands développements mondiaux : une accélération de la croissance (pas une stagnation), une baisse de l'inflation et une réduction des taux d'intérêt réels (indexés sur l'inflation). Toute explication convaincante de ces trois développements doit minimiser l'importance d'un cadre global à la demande pure et se concentrer sur la hausse des marchés émergents, notamment celui de la Chine.

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