John Overmyer

Le coût de l’inaction

BERKELEY – Les gouvernements mondiaux sont-ils capables d’empêcher une récession profonde et durable de l’économie mondiale ? Il y a trois mois, j’aurais dit « oui », sans hésiter. Aujourd’hui, je n’en suis pas si sûr.

Le problème n’est pas que les gouvernements hésitent sur la marche à suivre. La liste des procédures usuelles pour éviter une dépression prolongée en cas de crise financière a été progressivement formulée au cours des deux derniers siècles : par le gouverneur de la Banque d’Angleterre Cornelius Buller en 1825 ; par le rédacteur en chef de l’époque victorienne de The Economist , Walter Bagehot ; et par de nombreux économistes, notamment Irving Fisher, John Maynard Keynes et Milton Friedman.

Le principal problème aujourd’hui est que la demande des investisseurs pour des actifs sûrs et liquides – et donc pour leur valeur – est trop élevée, tandis que la demande pour les actifs qui sous-tendent et financent le capital productif de l’économie est trop faible. La solution évidente est pour les gouvernements de créer davantage de liquidités pour satisfaire la demande pour des actifs sûrs et liquides.

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