L’économie sur le fil du rasoir

Berkeley – Depuis 2003, je répète que l’économie mondiale est gravement déséquilibrée et vulnérable à une catastrophe macroéconomique qui provoquerait l’un des pires épisodes de crise des temps modernes. Depuis 2004, j’affirme que la situation, une fois déclenchée, apparaîtrait sans doute clairement dans l’année : nous saurions si l’économie mondiale se rétablirait ou entamerait une spirale descendante. En 2004-2007, j’ai envisagé que je pouvais m’être trompé au sujet d’une résolution relativement rapide à la crise économique mondiale : comme le disait feu Rudi Dornbusch, les déséquilibres macroéconomiques intenables peuvent tenir plus longtemps que les économistes, avec leur foi touchante dans la rationalité de la prise de décision humaine, ne le croient possible.

Il y a un an, cependant, avec la crise des subprimes d’août 2007, j’en ai acquis la certitude. La situation devait se résoudre dans l’année, pas d’autre solution. Soit les banques centrales parviendraient d’une façon ou d’une autre à prendre le train en route et à guider les taux de change et les cours vers une configuration à l’équilibre stable et durable, soit le chaos et la perturbation des marchés financiers déborderaient dans l’économie réelle, déclenchant une grande récession à l’échelle mondiale. La situation a largement favorisé la seconde possibilité : une crise macroéconomique mondiale.

Mais je me suis trompé. Une année entière s’est écoulée, et nous sommes encore sur le fil du rasoir.

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