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“Pathétique” est sans doute le mot qui convient le mieux pour décrire Alan Greenspan témoignant devant une commission du Congrès des Etats-Unis, à la Chambre des Représentants, mercredi. Extrait de l'audition…

Congressman Henry Waxman: «My question is simple. Were you wrong?

Alan Greenspan: «Partially ... I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organisations, specifically banks, is such that they were best capable of protecting shareholders and equity in the firms ... I discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works. I had been going for 40 years with considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well. The overall view I take of regulation is, I took an oath of office when I became Federal Reserve chairman. I'm here to uphold the laws of the land passed by Congress, not my own predilections.»

On s’est d’abord précipité, parce qu’on aime les images et les sensations, et que Greenspan est effectivement une autorité pour nos pauvres esprits ivres de conformisme et d’adulation devant le mythe américaniste, sur la description que le même Greenspan a faite de la crise financière, – un “tsunami”… («In prepared remarks before the House of Representatives, Greenspan, 82, who retired in 2006, called the financial crisis a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami” and said it had “turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined”.») Mais l’intérêt de la chose est bien entendu cet aveu. L’homme si ardemment célébré comme le maître de la formule du bonheur et de la vertu de l’enrichissement fou du monde, décrivant son erreur. Le Guardian en fait ce matin le plat de résistance de son site.

«The former Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, has conceded that the global financial crisis has exposed a “mistake” in the free market ideology which guided his 18-year stewardship of US monetary policy.

»A long-time cheerleader for deregulation, Greenspan admitted to a congressional committee yesterday that he had been “partially wrong” in his hands-off approach towards the banking industry and that the credit crunch had left him in a state of shocked disbelief. “I have found a flaw,” said Greenspan, referring to his economic philosophy. “I don't know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.” It was the first time the man hailed for masterminding the world's longest postwar boom has accepted any culpability for the crisis that has engulfed the global banking system.

»During a feisty exchange on Capitol Hill, he told the House oversight committee that he regretted his opposition to regulatory curbs on certain types of financial derivatives which have left banks on Wall Street and in the Square Mile facing billions of dollars worth of liabilities.

»“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” said Greenspan.»

Le même Guardian signale, puisque nous sommes dans le champ des confessions et du mea culpa, que voici aussi celle de Henry Paulson, – qui continue à être secrétaire du trésor, bien entendu… Paulson a, en plus, l’aveu zélé puisqu’il ajoute celui de l’impuissance à l’aveu de l’aveuglement; il admet qu’il aurait dû voir venir les choses catastrophiques bien avant qu’il ne les vît venir mais que cela n’aurait pas sans doute modifié sa façon d’agir. «As the crisis continued to depress global stockmarkets, the US treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, also offered a partial confession, admitting he ought to have anticipated a meltdown in the US mortgage industry widely blamed for triggering the crisis. "I could have seen the sub-prime crisis coming earlier," he told the New York Times. He added: “I'm not saying I would have done anything differently.”»

• On trouve dans d'autres journaux des échos de ce témoignage de Greenspan, qui devrait constituer un tournant symbolique dans la perception de la crise en raison de la notoriété faite à l'ancien président de la Federal Reserve. Signalons également The Independent, ce matin, qui donne d'autres extraits témoignant de l'état de grande détresse d'Alan Greenspan, qui ne comprend pas...

«Self-regulation by Wall Street had failed, [Greenspan] said. “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity – myself especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief.” And he went on: “I found a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure thatdefines how the world works. That's precisely the reason I was shocked... I still do not fully understand why it happened and obviously to the extent that I figure where it happened and why, I will change my views. If the facts change, I will change.”»

• Arrêtons-nous également au rapport de l’audition de Greenspan que fait, hier, CNN.News. Il est typique des réactions générales de la presse US. L’aveu de Greenspan est à peine mentionné, l’article préférant commencer sur la description du “tsunami” et l’annonce que, tout de même, tout cela sera suivi de temps meilleurs, d’une renaissance en un mot. On constate un peu plus loin, en poursuivant l’article, que cette prévision est faite par un homme qui, non content d’avouer qu’il s’est trompé, précise qu’il ne comprend toujours pas pourquoi, – en vérité, l’homme idéal pour annoncer, avec une assurance un peu forcée sans doute, des lendemains qui chantent… «The former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve has said the United States is “in the midst of a credit tsunami,” but it will emerge from the crisis with a “far sounder financial system.” […] He admitted he made a mistake during his time as chair by presuming that lenders were more capable than regulators of protecting their finances, adding he was “shocked” when the system “broke down.” “I still do not understand exactly how it happened,” he said.»

• Quoiqu'il en soit des divers habillages, ces déclarations sont ce qu'elles sont et ne nous quitterons plus. Elles s’inscrivent dans un courant général de perception catastrophique, notamment dans la direction américaniste mais aussi dans la population. Elles renforcent l’appréciation qui est en train de grandir d’une erreur considérable et d’un échec à mesure dans les grandes orientations choisies pour le développement du monde civilisé, sous direction et inspiration américanistes. Elles justifient d’envisager des développements de grande importance, comme on en observe des signes éventuellement précurseurs, sans pourtant pouvoir dire quels seront ces développements et comment ils se manifesteront.


Mis en ligne le 24 octobre 2008 à 06H37