Thatcher et le Big Bang

LONDRES – Margaret Thatcher était une superstar aux Etats-Unis pour les personnes d’un certain âge, et les Américains sont surpris par les commentaires très divergents entendus dans la Grande Bretagne qu’elle a gouverné pendant 11 ans. Mais les Britanniques ne sont pas étonnés. Comme Tony Blair, Thatcher a longtemps été un produit britannique qui toujours eu plus de succès sur les marchés étrangers qu’à domicile.

Tous les aspects de son héritage sont sérieusement controversés. A-t-elle fait preuve de préscience concernant les problèmes de l’union monétaire européenne ou a-t-elle laissé l’Angleterre isolée à la lisière du continent ? A-t-elle créé un nouvel élan économique, ou a-t-elle laissé la Grande-Bretagne amèrement divisée, avec plus d’inégalités et moins de cohésion qu’auparavant ? A-t-elle anéanti la puissance des intérêts acquis et créé une véritable méritocratie, ou a-t-elle fait des banquiers et des financiers la nouvelle élite, avec de désastreuses conséquences ?

L’un des sujets passé à la loupe est en effet sa réforme de la City de Londres à la fin des années 80. En 1986, son gouvernement a joué un rôle important dans ce que l’on a appelé le “Big Bang.” Techniquement, le principal changement fut de mettre fin à la « capacité unique » par laquelle un négociant boursier pouvait être soit commettant, soit agent, mais pas les deux.

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