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La Fed sensible aux pressions politiques ?

CAMBRIDGE – Lors de son récent débat avec Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump a attribué des arrière-pensées politiciennes à la présidente de la Fed, Janet Yellen. D'après lui, la Fed (Réserve fédérale américaine) utilise la stimulation monétaire à doses massives pour faire croire aux électeurs que l'économie se redresse.

Cette idée n'est pas entièrement absurde, mais je ne vois pas sur quoi elle s'appuie. Si Yellen est déterminée à maintenir les taux d'intérêt si bas, pourquoi a-t-elle envisagé une hausse des taux d'intérêt à long terme en rappelant que la Fed va probablement procéder à une révision des taux plus rapidement que ce à quoi s'attendent les marchés ?

Il arrive que les dirigeants des banques centrales soutiennent les candidats en campagne en laissant l'inflation monter et en soutenant la création d'emplois. Lors de la campagne pour sa réélection en 1972, Nixon a fait la leçon au président de la Fed, Arthur Burns, sur la nécessité de stimuler l'économie afin de l'aider à l'emporter sur son concurrent démocrate, George McGovern. Nixon l'a largement emporté, mais la politique de Burns a déclenché l'inflation mondiale des années 1970 et accéléré la fin du système de taux de change fixes de l'après-guerre. Et les effets à long terme ont été catastrophiques.

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