La fausse promesse de stabilité

La France a désormais rejoint le Portugal et l'Allemagne en brandissant le Pacte de stabilité, l'accord conclu entre les membres de la zone euro pour garder leur déficit au-dessous d'un seuil critique (3 % du PNB aujourd'hui, mais probablement à un seuil inférieur dans le futur). Pierre Raffarin, le premier ministre français, a défendu la position de son gouvernement en déclarant que la France n'était pas prête à imposer une certaine austérité à son peuple.

Monsieur Raffarin avait raison de dire que l'austérité s'ensuivrait si la France obéissait aux restrictions du Pacte mais dans les débats sur la politique économique, la vérité est rarement appréciée. Il est parfois préférable de laisser les universitaires énoncer la vérité car leurs querelles rendent difficile de discerner qui a raison de qui a tort. Quelques années auparavant, Alan Blinder, alors vice président du Bureau de la réserve fédérale, a été condamné pour avoir déclaré ouvertement que la politique monétaire devrait cibler non seulement l'inflation, mais également le chômage, et que, au moins dans le court terme, les deux pourraient trouver un compromis.

Il existe une longue liste de sermons de banquiers centraux, qui ne sont pas censés être remis en question ; si vous le faites, vous êtes exilé du petit cercle de ceux qui savent soi-disant comment le monde fonctionne « vraiment ». Voici trois de ces sermons :

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  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

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    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

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    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

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    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

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    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.