La tentation Greenspan

WASHINGTON – Les rédacteurs de la Constitution des Etats-Unis ont du faire un choix fondamental : devaient-ils concentrer le pouvoir entre les mains d’un seul homme, ou concevoir un système politique dans lequel le processus décisionnel serait plus diffus ? Le président américain Barack Obama se retrouve aujourd’hui devant un choix similaire au moment où il doit nommer le nouveau président des gouverneurs de la Réserve Fédérale pour succéder à Ben Bernanke.

L’héritage de Bernanke est vraiment mitigé, mais il a tout de même encouragé deux aspects positifs au sein de la Fed que sont la philosophie de la collégialité et le partage des responsabilité. Et le principal objectif de son successeur devrait être de cimenter cette approche en tant que nouvelle tradition institutionnelle.

Pourtant, il semble que tant l’histoire que les ballons d’essais récemment lancés par l’administration Obama tendent vers un président de la Fed tout puissant. Le conseil de la Réserve Fédérale compte sept gouverneurs ; mais, pour une grande part de son histoire, le conseil a fonctionné dans l’ombre de son président, et trois d’entre eux (Marriner Eccles, William McChesney Martin, et plus récemment, Alan Greenspan) sont restés en poste près de 20 ans.

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