txta .Le dollar en chute libre

CAMBRIDGE – Au moment où l’euro atteignait son précédent record historique, à $ 1,52, Jean-Claude Trichet, le président de la Banque centrale européenne a indiqué lors d’une conférence de presse qu’il s’inquiétait de l’appréciation rapide de la monnaie européenne et qu’il souhaitait « souligner » la politique officielle du département du Trésor américain de soutien à un dollar fort. Par la suite, plusieurs ministres des finances européens se sont fait l’écho de son point de vue.

En réalité, les Etats-Unis n’ont aucune politique préétablie concernant le dollar – hormis celle de laisser le marché déterminer sa valeur. Le gouvernement américain n’intervient pas sur les march_és des changes pour soutenir le dollar et la politique monétaire de la Réserve fédérale (Fed) ne vise en aucun cas cet objectif. Sa politique n’est bien sûr pas non plus de faire baisser la valeur du dollar. Bien que la Fed ait abaissé ses taux directeurs de 5,25 pour cent à l’été 2007 à 3 pour cent aujourd’hui, le but recherché était avant tout de stimuler une économie morose et non de déprécier la monnaie américaine.

Il n’en reste pas moins qu’interrogés sur la valeur du dollar, tous les secrétaires d’État au Trésor américain, en remontant au moins jusqu’à Robert Rubin de l’administration Clinton, ont répété la litanie qu’un « dollar fort est bon pour les Etats-Unis ». Même si ce propos est plus réactif qu’un « sans commentaire », il n’engage en rien l’action gouvernementale américaine actuelle ou future.

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