Le retour du dollar

LAGUNA BEACH – Le dollar est à la hausse. Seulement au cours des quatre derniers mois sa valeur a grimpé de plus de 7% par rapport à un panier constitué par une dizaine de devises importantes, et il a fait un bond encore plus important par rapport à l'euro et au yen. Cette hausse qui est la conséquence de progrès économiques réels et de politiques divergentes pourrait contribuer au "rééquilibrage" dont l'économie mondiale a besoin. Mais ce résultat est loin d'être garanti, compte tenu des risques d'instabilité financière liés à cette évolution.

Deux facteurs majeurs interviennent en faveur du dollar, notamment si on le compare à l'euro et au yen. Tout d'abord les USA sont régulièrement plus performants que l'Europe et le Japon en termes de croissance et de dynamisme économique - une situation qui va sans doute perdurer - du fait non seulement de leur flexibilité économique et de leur énergie pour entreprendre, mais aussi d'une politique plus résolue depuis le début de la crise financière mondiale.

Deuxième facteur, après une période d'alignement, la politique monétaire de ces trois grandes économies d'importance systémique divergent, ce qui fait que les différents pays, au lieu de suivre une trajectoire économique identique, chacun à son rythme, suivraient des trajectoires variées. Alors que la Réserve fédérale américaine a mis fin le mois dernier à sa politique de relâchement monétaire (QE, quantitative easing) consistant à acheter massivement des titres, la Banque du Japon et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) ont annoncé récemment le renforcement de leur programme de stimulation monétaire. Mario Draghi, le président de la BCE, a même affiché sa volonté d'élargir le bilan de l'institution d'un montant considérable, 1000 milliards d'euros.

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