L’avenir du dollar

CAMBRIDGE – La politique économique américaine vise à obtenir un dollar fort aux Etats-Unis et compétitif à l’étranger. Un dollar fort au plan intérieur est un dollar qui conserve son pouvoir d’achat, grâce à un faible taux d’inflation. Un dollar compétitif à l’étranger signifie que d’autres pays ne mettent pas en ouvre des politiques qui déprécient artificiellement leur devise de manière à encourager les exportations et limiter les importations.

Cet objectif d’un dollar fort au plan intérieur a guidé l’action de la Réserve fédérale américaine (la Fed) depuis le début des années 1980 au moins, lorsque son directeur de l’époque, Paul Volcker, avait radicalement réduit l’inflation. Bien que les Etats-Unis n’aient pas d’objectif formel concernant l’inflation, les marchés financiers estiment que la Fed vise un taux d’inflation proche de 2 pour cent. Et bien que le mandat de la Fed soit de garantir une croissance durable parallèlement à une inflation faible, les autorités monétaires reconnaissent qu’une croissance durable requiert une stabilité des prix.

Pendant des décennies, le département du Trésor américain a affirmé que « un dollar fort est bon pour l’Amérique ». Mais ce leitmotiv n’en a pas pour autant sous-tendu l’action de la Fed sur les marchés internationaux.

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