Le Retour des guerres du dollar

Confronté à un avenir électoral incertain, inquiet de la dégradation du marché de l'emploi, le président américain George W. Bush commence maintenant à montrer du doigt les autres pays, leur envoyant son secrétaire d'état au Trésor pour exiger qu'ils relèvent leurs taux de change pour faire monter les prix de leurs produits pour le consommateur américain. C'était donc la mission de John Snow lors de son dernier voyage en Chine. Pourtant cela n'a rien de nouveau. Deux des prédécesseurs de M. Snow, John Connally et James Baker, se lancèrent en leur temps à la poursuite de taux de change favorables.

Ce que Snow exige de la Chine reste étrange : on ne va généralement pas voir le gérant du magasin pour lui demander de relever ses prix. Pourtant, l'émergence de nouvelles devises fortes provoque toujours de nouvelles tentatives d'utilisation des taux de change à des fins politiques.

Après la Deuxième guerre mondiale, pendant vingt ans, il n'exista que deux devises internationales tout comme à l'époque de l'entre-deux guerres : la livre anglais et le dollar américain. À la fin des années 1960, la livre s'était trouvée tant affaiblie que les marchés internationaux avaient perdu tout intérêt à son égard. Ainsi, deux nouvelles devises de poids ont émergé, avec les économies japonaise et allemande (de l'Ouest) produisant d'important surplus commerciaux.

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