Le dilemme du sauveur

PEKIN – La plupart des crises financières internationales survenues au cours des 200 dernières années ont été le résultat de difficultés créées par le recyclage des capitaux des pays avec un taux d’épargne élevé vers les pays épargnant peu. La crise européenne actuelle est un bon exemple. Pendant près d'une décennie, le capital des pays à épargne élevée comme l'Allemagne s’est écoulé vers les pays à faible épargne comme l'Espagne. L’accumulation de dette qui en a résulté a généré ses propres contraintes et l'économie européenne est à présent obligée de procéder à un rééquilibrage.

Si ce rééquilibrage a lieu seulement en Espagne et d'autres pays à faible épargne, le résultat, comme John Maynard Keynes avait mis en garde il y a 80 ans, se traduira nécessairement par une forte augmentation du chômage. Ce dernier peut rester confiné aux pays comme l'Espagne ou migrer avec le temps vers les pays comme l'Allemagne, en fonction de si le premier groupe de pays reste dans l'euro ou non.

Bien que les positions relatives des économies de l'Allemagne et l'Espagne semblent confirmer les stéréotypes culturels, les taux d'épargne nationaux n’ont pas grand chose à voir avec les inclinations culturelles. Au contraire, ils reflètent en grande partie les politiques domestiques et à l'étranger qui déterminent les taux de consommation des ménages.

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