Jon Krause

L’analogie à la Grande Dépression

PRINCETON – La plupart des commentaires sur la crise économique actuelle font souvent référence à la Grande Dépression. Dans ses dernières « Perspectives de l’Economie Mondiale », le FMI analyse explicitement cette analogie, non seulement à la lumière de l’effondrement de la confiance financière, mais aussi à celle du déclin rapide des échanges internationaux et de l’activité industrielle. L’histoire, plus que la théorie économique, est en général plus à même de permettre l’interprétation d’évènements déconcertants et donc imprévisibles.

La plupart des analogies à la Grande Dépression se réfèreent presque toujours à l’année 1929. Mais la Grande Dépression a développé deux pathologies très différentes ; chacune avec des diagnostiques différents impliquant des traitements différents.

La première et la plus connue de ces pathologies fut le crash boursier d’octobre 1929 aux Etats-Unis. Aucun autre pays n’a connu une panique boursière d’une telle ampleur, en grande partie parce qu’aucun autre pays n’a connu une flambée des actions telle que de nombreux Américains, de tous bords, se sont lancés dans la spéculation financière.

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