L’économie mondiale en surchauffe

CAMBRIDGE – L'économie mondiale est telle un train lancé à toute vitesse qui ralentit, mais pas assez vite. C'est le message que crie la hausse extraordinaire des prix du pétrole, des métaux et des denrées alimentaires. Spectaculaire et historique, le boom économique mondial des six dernières années risque de nous conduire droit dans le mur. Malheureusement, personne – certainement pas en Asie ou aux Etats-Unis – ne semble vouloir prendre le taureau par les cornes et envisager un recul coordonné indispensable au maintien d’une croissance nécessaire, pour permettre à de nouvelles matières premières et autres possibilités d’approvisionnement de rattraper le rythme.

Au lieu de cela, les gouvernements s’efforcent de faire durer des périodes précaires de forte expansion, poussent encore plus à la hausse des prix et accroissent les risques de catastrophes économiques et financières – du genre de celles qu’on ne voit qu'une fois dans sa vie. Il n'est pas nécessaire que cette situation connaisse une fin tragique ; mais pour cela, les responsables politiques doivent commencer à appuyer fort sur les freins et non sur l’accélérateur.

Ne comptez pas sur des Etats-Unis en pleine année électorale pour prendre la barre. Au contraire, le gouvernement américain octroie des dégrèvements fiscaux pour que les Américains consomment jusqu'à la ruine, et le Congrès parle même de faire encore plus.

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