Les Bourbon de la finance mondiale

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – Le Fonds monétaire international d’aujourd’hui (et, à un moindre degré, la Banque mondiale) rappelle la description que faisait Talleyrand des rois de France de la branche des Bourbon�: il n’a rien appris ni rien oublié. Alors que les pays riches comme les Etats-Unis connaissent des déficits équivalents à 12% de leur PIB à cause de la crise financière mondiale, le FMI intime à des pays comme la Lettonie ou l’Ukraine, qui n’ont pas déclenché la crise mais se sont tournés vers le FMI pour la combattre, d’équilibrer leurs budgets s’ils veulent de l’aide.

Une telle hypocrisie serait risible si la situation économique mondiale n’était pas désastreuse au point que même les pays qui ont autrefois juré de ne plus jamais avoir affaire au FMI sont revenus frapper à sa porte, le chapeau à la main. Certains éminents économistes argentins justifient cette volte-face en avançant que le monde a désormais un “FMI Obama,” vraisemblablement plus sympathique et plus à l’écoute des problèmes locaux que le “Fonds Bush.” Mais, comme le suggèrent les programmes du FMI pour la Lettonie et l’Ukraine, la principale différence pourrait se limiter au sourire.

Certes, le directeur général du FMI, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a récemment appelé à une réponse fiscale mondiale à l’aggravation de la récession. Mais le Fonds va-t-il abandonner son insistance de longue date sur les économies gouvernementales, la contraction monétaire et l’austérité générale, politiques qui, aux yeux de nombreux économistes du développement, font considérablement plus de mal que de bien�? Le FMI et la Banque mondiale sont-ils vraiment prêts à revoir leurs politiques ratées�?

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