A qui la faute ?

PRINCETON – Maintenant que la crise économique paraît moins menaçante (au moins pour le moment), et que les conjoncturistes entrevoient des « germes » de reprise, se déroule une chasse aux coupables toujours plus étendue. La crise financière offre une occasion semble-t-il inépuisable de dénoncer la supercherie et la corruption, et de démasquer les coupables. Pourtant, nous ne sommes pas tout à fait sûrs de savoir qui ou quoi démasquer.

Au tout début, les grands banquiers faisaient des coupables idéals : ils présidaient les institutions qui avaient dégagé des profits considérables sur une période assez longue à mal valoriser les risques, pour réclamer ensuite l’aide publique au motif qu’elles étaient trop importants pour s’effondrer. Diaboliser ces êtres manifestement arrogants et surpayés était chose facile.

Mais qu’en est-il du processus politique ? Pourquoi les banques n’étaient-elles pas davantage contrôlées et mieux réglementées ? Non pas que les politiciens étaient « achetés » au sens propre, ils s’étaient plutôt persuadés que l’innovation financière était la clé d’une plus grande prospérité générale, permettait d’élargir l’accès à la propriété et bien entendu d’accroître le soutien populaire durant les élections.

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