La BCE sur le mauvais chemin

La Banque centrale européenne a decide que des taux d'intérêts plus élevés constituent la réponse appropriée à la hausse du prix du pétrole. La BCE risque donc de se retrouver coincée, car la logique derrière la hausse des taux d'intérêts de cette semaine implique que d'autres hausses vont suivre : une série d'erreurs en perspective qui peut coûter cher aux économies de la zone euro.

Malgré les affirmations du contraire, aucune banque centrale, y compris la BCE, ne peut se contenter de s'occuper de l'inflation et ignorer ce qui se passe dans le reste de l'économie. Imaginons, juste pour l'exemple, que la stabilité des prix ne puisse être assurée qu'au prix d'un taux de chômage de 30%. Il est certain que personne, y compris la BCE, ne le souhaiterait.

Les défenseurs de la BCE diront qu'une telle issue est purement hypothétique, et qu'elle est même déplacée, car il n'existe pas d'opposition entre la stabilisation de l'inflation et l’ activité économique. La stabilité des prix, diront-ils , réduit les incertitudes, et par conséquent permet aux entreprises et aux individus de prendre les bonnes décisions. Elle s'avère donc positive, pas négative, pour l'activité économique.

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