Le prochain Bretton Woods

NEW YORK – L’économie mondiale subit un ralentissement majeur, probablement le plus grave depuis un quart de siècle, voire depuis la Grande Dépression. A plus d’un titre, on peut dire que la crise actuelle est made in America .

En effet, l'Amérique a exporté ses prêts toxiques dans le monde entier, sous la forme de titres garantis par des créances. Elle a exporté sa philosophie de marchés déréglementés, que même Alan Greenspan, son plus fervent partisan, reconnaît comme une erreur. Elle a exporté sa culture d'irresponsabilité des entreprises – notamment par des options d’achat d’actions sans transparence qui ont encouragé la mauvaise comptabilité en partie responsable de la débâcle, tout comme dans les scandales d’Enron et de Worldcom il y a quelques années. Enfin, elle a exporté une tendance économique à la baisse. 

Le gouvernement Bush a finalement fait ce que préconisaient les économistes : davantage de participation dans les banques. Or, comme toujours, ce sont les détails qui finissent par poser problème. Henry Paulson, Secrétaire américain au Trésor a même pu faire échouer cette bonne idée : il semble avoir compris comment recapitaliser les banques sans qu’il n’en résulte une reprise de l’emprunt, ce qui ne présageait rien de bon pour l'économie.

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