L'épouvantail des mesures de relance

NEW YORK – Encore dans les sillons de la catastrophe économique de 2008 et 2009, les gens s’inquiètent avec raison de la dévastation qu'une autre crise financière pourrait causer. Pourtant un retour de la crise est peu probable et ses répercussions seraient cette fois-ci beaucoup moins dévastatrices, car nous ne sommes plus en présence d'énormes bulles des marchés du crédit ou des actifs qui attendent d’éclater.

Malgré cela, les experts et les médias n'ont pu s'empêcher d'exagérer ces craintes, détournant l'attention de plus grandes interventions pour surmonter une stagnation prolongée dans la plupart des pays développés, ce qui pèsera inévitablement sur la relance économique des autres économies, particulièrement celles en développement.

La dette publique est l'épouvantail du moment. On fait grand cas des niveaux élevés de dette souveraine des deux côtés de l'Atlantique et au Japon. Comme l'a fait remarquer le commentateur économique Martin Wolf, « Les problèmes budgétaires de ces économies sont à long terme et non immédiats ». C'est aussi le cas du Japon dont la dette en proportion du PIB est la plus haute parmi les pays riches, le problème n'est pas si grave étant donné que la dette est détenue à l'intérieur du pays. Et il est maintenant généralement admis que les problèmes de dette de l'Europe découlent d'éléments mal conçus de l'intégration européenne.

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