Réalité économique et réalité financière, à quand la réconciliation ?

BERKELEY – C'est l'époque des conférences monétaires internationales. Les ministres des Finances et les responsables des banques centrales des pays du G20 se sont rencontrés en mars à Nanjing en Chine pour discourir sur les taux de change et les taux d'intérêt ; début avril ce sont des intellectuels connus et d'anciens dirigeants politiques qui se sont réunis à Bretton Woods dans le New Hampshire, le lieu de naissance de notre système monétaire international qui repose avant tout sur le dollar et celui du Fonds monétaire international en 1944.

Cette année là, la conférence de Bretton Woods fut marquée par un affrontement entre les USA et le Royaume-Uni représentés par deux économistes, l'Américain Harry Dexter White et le Britannique John Maynard Keynes. Le Royaume-Uni voulait un système dans lequel les liquidités seraient régulées au niveau international par une institution multilatérale, tandis que les USA voulaient un système basé sur le dollar, ceci en fonction de leurs intérêts propres.

Etant donné son incontestable supériorité économique et financière, l'Amérique était maître du jeu. Keynes n'a réussi ni à faire accepter sa proposition de donner le droit au FMI de créer une nouvelle devise constitutive des réserves internationales en tant qu'alternative au dollar, ni à obtenir un accord qui aurait contraint les émetteurs et les utilisateurs de cette nouvelle devise, les pays en déficit et les pays en excédent à faire des ajustements.

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