Paul Lachine

Le moment est venu pour les banques centrales occidentales de rentrer dans les clous

TILBURG – Il y a des moments pour penser et agir de manière non conventionnelle, et un autre pour rentrer dans les clous. Les principales banques centrales occidentales, autrement dit la Banque d'Angleterre, la Banque centrale européenne (la BCE) et la Réserve fédérale américaine (la Fed) devraient méditer cela.

William McChesney Martin, un ancien président de la Réserve fédérale, avait souligné la nécessité de relever les taux d'intérêt pour éviter la surchauffe ; mais en recourant à une deuxième phase de relâchement monétaire, la Fed s'est dirigée dans la direction diamétralement opposée. Quand la crise financière a éclaté en 2008, les principales banques centrales ont eu raison de recourir à des mesures exceptionnelles. A l'image de la Fed, certaines en ont trop fait, mais dans l'ensemble leur réaction a été appropriée.

Plus de deux ans après, la situation n'est plus la même. Le redémarrage économique n'a rien de faramineux, mais il existe. Presque tous les pays développés ont laissé la récession loin derrière eux et le danger de déflation a disparu. Depuis peu la Banque centrale suisse tient compte de cette situation, tandis que la BCE s'inquiète d'un retour de l'inflation dans la zone euro (et non plus d'une déflation). Dans les pays émergents comme le Brésil, la Chine, l'Inde et la Corée du Sud, l'inflation progresse rapidement et tend à devenir un problème économique et politique.

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