Jon Krause

Le cycle du mécontentement économique

FLORENCE – Le 19° siècle était hypnotisé par l'évolution cyclique des affaires. L'économiste français Clément Juglar est devenu célèbre pour avoir montré que la période de ce cycle est de 9 à 10 ans. Nous avons récemment eu notre propre cycle d'exubérance et de désintégration économique, mais il ne s'agit pas de la même chose.

Au 19° siècle, après un ralentissement économique les gens reprenaient rapidement leurs activités habituelles comme si de rien n'était. En ce sens, le cycle des affaires semblait un élément relativement permanent, peu sujet à évolution. Mais de nos jours un effondrement cyclique surprend au plus haut point. Après coup, nous réinventons un point de vue sur l'économie. A peu prés tous les 10 ans nous pensons qu'un modèle donné de croissance est dépassé et qu'il ne servira plus jamais. C'est ainsi qu'en 1979, 1989, 1998 et 2008 on a repensé le monde.

La théorie de Keynes est définitivement tombée en désuétude en 1979, après le second choc pétrolier de la décennie. L'élection de Margaret Thatcher au Royaume-Uni et le choc concomitant provoqué par la hausse des taux d'intérêt décidée par le président de la Réserve fédérale Paul Volcker en octobre 1979 a mis fin à une ère où l'on considérait que l'inflation était la solution aux problèmes sociaux. L'intervention de l'Etat et l'augmentation de la masse monétaire en tant que moyen d'apaiser le mécontentement se sont retrouvées discréditées, au même titre que l'Etat providence de l'Europe de l'Ouest.

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