Paul Lachine

Le complot des économistes

LONDRES – Tout événement marquant une époque est le résultat de la conjoncture – la corrélation entre des faits normalement sans lien qui font dérailler l’humanité. Une telle conjoncture crée ce que l’auteur Nassim Nicholas Taleb appelle un « cygne noir » : un événement imprévisible aux conséquences considérables. D’après Taleb, un petit nombre de cygnes noirs suffit pour « expliquer presque tout dans le monde. »

La prospérité du premier âge de la mondialisation avant 1914, par exemple, provenait d’une constellation de développements réussis : la chute du coût des transports et des communications, les avancées technologiques de la seconde révolution industrielle, le pacifisme des relations internationales et l’excellente gestion britannique de l’étalon or. En revanche, le climat politique international venimeux de l’entre deux guerres combiné aux déséquilibres économiques mondiaux a provoqué la Grande Dépression et planté le décor de la seconde guerre mondiale.

Penchez-vous donc sur les dernières innovations financières : les nouvelles technologies de l’informatique et des télécommunications qui ont généré un énorme marché d’instruments dérivés. Les obligations structurées adossées à des emprunts (ou CDO pour collateralized debt obligations, reposant en grande partie sur les créances hypothécaires) ont donné naissance à une nouvelle population de propriétaires supposés solvables. Les banques émettrices ont alors pu vendre des crédits « sub-prime » à d’autres investisseurs.

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