Politique monétaire : il faut un compromis

CHICAGO – A travers la planète chacun essaye d'amortir les conséquences de la Grande dépression, tout en sachant que la croissance mondiale va sans doute rester limitée dans l'après-crise. Les pays émergents essayent de se libérer de la demande des pays industriels et ces derniers se débattent pour rééquilibrer leurs comptes, tant au niveau de l'Etat que des ménages. Il est clair dans ce contexte que dans la demande mondiale future viendra des milliards de consommateurs africains, chinois et indiens. Mais il faudra encore du temps pour en arriver là, car les biens produits à travers le monde pour les pays industriels ne peuvent être exportés tels quels vers les consommateurs des pays émergeants, notamment vers les plus pauvres d'entre eux.

Dans ces pays, hormis les quelques dizaines de millions de nouveaux consommateurs dont les revenus se rapprochent de ceux des classes moyennes des pays industrialisés, des milliards de personnes ont des revenus bien plus faibles que ceux de la population des pays industrialisés et vivent dans des conditions qui ne sont pas comparables. Leurs besoins sont différents et jusqu'à il y a peu les industriels les ignoraient. Mais les temps changent. De plus en plus ils s'intéressent à la masse de gens qui, s'ils ne constituent pas la base de la pyramide des revenus, n'en sont pas loin.

Ainsi une entreprise indienne, Godrej,  a inventé un nouveau modèle de réfrigérateur destiné aux villageois à faible revenu. En Inde, en raison de la chaleur, si elle n'est pas réfrigérée la nourriture se dégrade rapidement, ce qui contraint les femmes à cuisiner plusieurs fois par jour. Réfrigérer la nourriture qui n'est pas consommée limiterait le gaspillage et réduirait le temps qu'elles passent à faire la cuisine. Malheureusement, même quand il y a l'électricité, elle ne fonctionne que par intermittence, ce qui fait que les réfrigérateurs classiques à compresseur ne sont guère utilisables.

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