Le dilemme de la dette euro-américaine

PALO ALTO - Les riches continents d'Europe et d'Amérique, joyaux de la couronne des démocraties capitalistes mixtes, se noient dans les déficits et la dette, en raison d'États-providences bouffis qui sont à présent en place (en Europe) ou en devenir (aux États-Unis). Alors que l'Europe se bat pour éviter la contagion financière et que l'Amérique se bat pour réduire ses déficits records, leurs niveaux d'endettement dangereux menacent le futur niveau de vie et grèvent dangereusement les institutions politiques nationales et internationales. Les agences de notation menacent de procéder à des abaissements supplémentaires, d'autres envisagent une rupture éventuelle de l'euro et / ou la disparition de la valeur dollar comme monnaie de réserve mondiale.

Les économistes Ken Rogoff et Carmen Reinhart estiment que les taux de la dette publique / PIB de 90% sont associés à des perspectives de croissance fortement diminuées. Le taux d'endettement de la Grèce est de plus de 120%, celui de l'Italie est d'environ 100% et celui des États-Unis est de 74% contre 40% il y a quelques années - et s'approche rapidement de 90%. Le Fonds Monétaire International estime que chaque augmentation de 10%  du taux d'endettement réduit la croissance économique de 0,2 %. Ainsi, l'augmentation de 40-50% du PIB risque de réduire de moitié la croissance à long terme dans certaines régions d'Europe de l'Ouest et d'un tiers en Amérique - une réduction dévastatrice pour les gains de niveau de vie au cours d'une génération.

Pire encore, le fardeau des pertes bancaires qui devront tôt ou tard être socialisées et celui de l'avenir des pensions publiques non financées et des coûts de la santé, sont souvent sous-estimés dans les chiffres de la dette publique. Par ailleurs, les finances problématiques de certains gouvernements sous-nationaux, par exemple aux USA et en Espagne, exercent une pression sur les administrations centrales pour les aides fiscales.

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