Paul Lachine

Le test de pertinence de la Réserve Fédérale américaine

NEW YORK – Avec les taux d’intérêt proches de zéro, la Réserve Fédérale américaine ainsi que d’autres banques centrales se démènent pour préserver leur pertinence. La dernière arme à leur disposition est la détente quantitative (Quantitative Easing) et elle pourrait s’avérer aussi inefficace pour raviver l’économie américaine que tout ce qui a été tenté par la Fed ces dernières années. Mais pire encore, cette détente quantitative coûtera une fortune aux contribuables tout en affaiblissant l’efficacité de la Fed pour quelques années.

John Maynard Keynes contestait l’efficacité de la politique monétaire durant la grande dépression. Les banques centrales réussissent mieux à contenir l’exubérance irrationnelle des marchés lors d’une bulle – en limitant la disponibilité du crédit ou en augmentant les taux d’intérêt pour ralentir l’économie – qu’à relancer les investissements en période de récession. C’est pour cela qu’une bonne politique monétaire doit empêcher la survenue des bulles.

Mais la Fed, dominée par des fondamentalistes du marché et les intérêts de Wall Street depuis plus de vingt ans, n’a pas réussi à imposer des contraintes, et s’est comportée légèrement. Etant donc pour une grande part responsable du désordre actuel, elle essaye aujourd’hui de redorer son image.

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