La crise cinq ans après : le verre est aux trois quart vide

NEW-YORK – En 2008, lorsque la banque d'investissement Lehman Brothers a fait faillite, déclenchant la pire crise financière mondiale depuis la Grande dépression, les causes en étaient évidentes aux yeux de la majorité des observateurs. Un systéme financier démesuré et dysfonctionnel avait mal réparti le capital, et plutôt que de gérer les risques, ils les avaient engendrés. La déréglementation financière et l'argent facile avaient suscité des prises de risque inconsidérées. La politique monétaire à elle seule allait se révéler insuffisante pour relancer l'économie, même si l'argent de plus en plus facile a permis d'éviter l'effondrement complet du système financier. Aussi allait-il falloir s'appuyer davantage sur la politique budgétaire : une hausse des dépenses publiques.

Cinq ans plus tard, si certains en Europe et aux USA se congratulent d'avoir éviter une dépression, personne ne peut prétendre que la prospérité est de retour. L’Union européenne  émerge seulement d'une récession à double creux (un triple creux pour certains pays) et certains membres sont encore en dépression. Le PIB de beaucoup de pays de l'UE reste encore inférieur ou à peine supérieur à ce qu'il était avant la dépression. Prés de 27 millions d'Européens sont au chômage.

Aux USA, 22 millions d'Américains sont en quête d'un emploi à temps complet. Il faut remonter à l'époque où les femmes ont commencé à travailler pour retrouver un tel niveau de chômage. Le revenu et le patrimoine de la plupart des Américains sont inférieurs à ce qu'ils étaient bien avant la crise. Le salaire moyen des travailleurs est plus bas qu'il ne l'a jamais été depuis 40 ans.

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