Barrie Maguire

La bulle spéculative de l’or

NEW YORK – Le prix de l’or s’est envolé, pour dépasser la barre des 1000 dollars et s’approcher ces dernières semaines des 1200 dollars et plus l’once. Les investisseurs dans le métal jaune estiment aujourd’hui qu’il pourrait franchir le seuil des 2000 dollars. Mais cette récente flambée, qui n’est qu’en partie justifiée par les fondamentaux économiques, ressemble à s’y tromper à une bulle spéculative.

Le prix de l’or n’augmente nettement que dans deux situations : lorsque l’inflation est élevée et continue à croître, l’or permet de se couvrir contre l’inflation. Et quand il y a un risque de quasi dépression et que les investisseurs craignent pour leurs dépôts bancaires, l’or devient une valeur refuge.

Les deux dernières années correspondent à ce schéma. Le prix de l’or a commencé à grimper au premier semestre 2008, lorsque les marchés émergents étaient en surchauffe, que les prix des matières premières flambaient et qu’il y avait un risque d’augmentation de l’inflation dans les marchés émergents à forte croissance. Ce premier enchérissement du prix de l’or était déjà une bulle, qui a éclaté au second semestre 2008, lorsque – après que le baril de brut ait atteint 145 dollars, et stoppé net la croissance mondiale – l’économie mondiale est entrée en récession. Alors que les inquiétudes concernant la déflation remplaçaient la crainte de l’inflation, le cours du métal précieux a commencé à baisser, parallèlement à une correction des prix des matières premières.

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