Les dures leçons de 2009

New-York – 2009 aurait pu être pire - nous ne sommes plus au bord du précipice, là où nous nous trouvions à la fin de l'année dernière - et 2010 sera très probablement une meilleure année pour la plupart des pays du monde. Espérons que nous aurons retenu les grandes leçons de la crise, même si c'est à un coût élevé pour notre prospérité présente et futur – un coût dont nous aurions pu nous dispenser, car nous avions déjà eu l'occasion de les apprendre.

Première leçon : les marchés ne se corrigent pas d'eux-mêmes et peuvent laisser libre cours à des excès. En 2009, nous avons pu constater à nouveau que la main invisible des marchés est effectivement invisible : la plupart du temps elle n'existe pas. La poursuite par les banquiers de leur propre intérêt par pure cupidité n'a pas conduit la société au bien-être ; elle n'a même pas bénéficié aux actionnaires ou aux obligataires. Elle n'a sûrement pas bénéficié aux gens qui ont perdu leur maison, aux salariés qui ont perdu leur emploi, aux retraités qui voient leur retraite fondre ou aux contribuables qui ont versé des centaines de milliards pour sauver les banques.

Face au risque de voir tout le système s'écrouler, le filet de sécurité – supposé servir à aider les moins chanceux à répondre aux exigences de la vie – a été généreusement étendu aux banques commerciales, puis aux banques d'investissement, aux compagnies d'assurances et même aux organismes de crédit-bail auto. Jamais une telle somme d'argent n'a été transférée d'une aussi grande majorité vers une aussi petite minorité.

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