Les périls de la prophétie

BERKELEY - Nous, économistes rompus à l'histoire économique et financière - et informés de l'histoire de la pensée économique portant sur les crises financières et sur leurs effets - nous pouvons être fiers de nos analyses au cours des cinq dernières années. Nous avons compris vers quoi nous allions, parce que nous avons su dire où nous étions.

En particulier, nous avons compris que l'augmentation rapide des prix du logement, couplée à l'augmentation du degré d'endettement, causait des risques macro-économiques. Nous avons identifié que les grandes pertes d'actifs engendrées par la bulle détenue par de puissantes institutions financières de crédit causeraient une fuite de panique vers des investissements plus sûrs, et que la prévention d'une dépression profonde nécessiterait l'intervention officielle active d'un prêteur de dernier recours.

En effet, nous avons compris que les remèdes monétaristes risquaient de se révéler insuffisants, que les souverains devaient garantir leur solvabilité mutuelle, et qu'un retrait trop précoce de ce soutien impliquait d'énormes dangers. Nous avons su que les tentatives prématurées de réaliser l'équilibre fiscal à long terme empireraient la crise à court terme - et seraient ainsi contre-productives à long terme. Et nous avons compris que nous avons fait face à la menace d'une relance sans emploi, due à des facteurs cycliques, plutôt qu'à des changements structurels.

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