Vous trouverez ci dessous, dans notre service un article important intitué « Yellen à Londres précise les raisons de la hausse des taux … »
Dans cet article j’aborde la question des crises financières dont Yellen, infatuée d’elle même, prétend qu’il n’y en aura plus, en tout cas pas de son vivant. Les raisons sont semble- t-il les nouvelles réglementations bancaires prudentielles et le fait que les banques américaines sont prudentes, elles conservent 2,5 trillions de reserves oisives.
La prétention de Yellen est sans borne et elle n’a d’équivalent que son culot, à moins que ce soit son ignorance. En fait si je comprends bien Yellen considère que les crises sont le fait du hasard, des animal spirits ou de la gourmandise des agents économiques. Elle n’arrive pas à comprendre que les crises sont inhérentes à la fois au Système capitaliste, la preuve, leur récurrence et en même temps inhérentes à la nature humaine. La financialisation qui est l’outil utilisé par les banques centrales pour réduire les aléas et les chocs en fait augmente la fragilité et la fréquence des crises! A la limite je dirais qu’il n’y a plus de crise car nous sommes en état de crise permanente, nous vivons en régime de crise, sous cloche, sous couveuse. Ce faisant nous nourrissons la prochaine, la vraie, la grosse qui est devant nous.
Steve Keen est un de nos économistes préférés, même si il est keynésien évolué, néo keynésien. Il ne part pas comme nous du taux de profit du capital , mais beaucoup de travaux en fait recoupent ceux que l’on peut faire en donnant au profit un role central. Son analyse des crises, fondée sur une analyse serrée et modélisée de Minsky a eu le mérite de subir avec succès l’epreuve de réalité car il a bien prédit de façon argumentée et modelisée celle de 2008.
Il vient de sortir un ouvrage dont j’ai un peu parlé: « Can we avoid another financial crisis? Pouvons nous éviter une autre crise financière? Keen répond non car elle est ineluctable. La crise est endogène au système. Vous savez que c’est aussi ma thèse. C’est une fatalité, pas un hasard. Le livre est passionnant et accessible , pas trop compliqué.
Keen vient de publier dans Forbes une réfutation de la déclaration de Yellen. Lisez la réfutation de Keen. Le drame c’est que ces gens, les banquiers centraux et les gouvernements qui les suivent comme des idiots simplets n’ont même pas conscience de la fausseté de leurs théories en particulier monétaires. Ils couchent entre eux , ne font que gloser les uns sur les autres. Ils considèrent que la création de monnaie est exogène et que la dette, est neutre, simple transfert. La théorie dit néo classique qu’ils utilisent est un fatras idéologique qui ne sert qu’à maintenir le (des)ordre établi au profit d’une classe minoritaire dont vous vous doutez bien qu’elle est kleptocratique.
« Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far but I do think we’re much safer and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be, » Yellen said at an event in London. “Fed’s Yellen: Not another financial crisis in ‘our lifetimes’”
The only word I can use to describe this belief is “delusional”.
The only way in which her belief could be justified would be in financial crises were truly random events, caused by something outside the economy – or just by a very bad throw of the economic dice.
This is indeed the perspective of mainstream “Neoclassical” economic theory, in which Yellen was trained, and because of which she was deemed eligible – and indeed eminently suitable – to Chair the Federal Reserve.
This is the theory that led the OECD to proclaim, two months before the crisis began in August 2007, that “the current economic situation is in many ways better than what we have experienced in years”, and that they expected that “sustained growth in OECD economies would be underpinned by strong job creation and falling unemployment.” (OECD, June 2007, “Achieving Further Re-balancing”). It is the theory that led her colleague David Stockton, then the Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve, to dismiss the possibility of a recession after the crisis had begun, in December 2007—the very month that the recession is now regarded as having commenced:
Overall, our forecast could admittedly be read as still painting a pretty benign picture: despite all the financial turmoil, the economy avoids recession and, even with steeply higher prices for food and energy and a lower exchange value of the dollar, we achieve some modest edging-off of inflation. (Federal Open Market Committee transcript, December 2007)
So what we are getting from her is not merely her own personal complacency, but the complacency of an approach to economics which has always been grounded in the beliefs that (a) capitalism is inherently stable, (b) that the financial sector can be ignored—yes that’s right, ignored—when doing macroeconomics, and (c) that the Great Depression was an anomaly that can also be ignored, because it can only have been caused either by an exogenous shock or bad government policy, both of which cannot be predicted in advance.
Someone who would not have been deemed suitable to run the Federal Reserve, before the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08, was the maverick American economist Hyman Minsky. Minsky began from the perspective that, to be realistic, economic theory had to answer the question:
Can « It »—a Great Depression—happen again? And if « It » can happen, why didn’t « It » occur in the years since World War II? These are questions that naturally follow from both the historical record and the comparative success of the past thirty-five years. (Minsky, Can “It” Happen Again? 1982, p. xii)
To do this, Minsky made the obvious point that economic theory had to be able to explain how Great Depressions came about:
To answer these questions it is necessary to have an economic theory which makes great depressions one of the possible states in which our type of capitalist economy can find itself.(Minsky, 1982, p. xi.)
He specifically rejected the dominant Neoclassical approach to economics on this basis:
The abstract model of the neoclassical synthesis cannot generate instability. When the neoclassical synthesis is constructed, capital assets, financing arrangements that center around banks and money creation, constraints imposed by liabilities, and the problems associated with knowledge about uncertain futures are all assumed away. For economists and policy-makers to do better we have to abandon the neoclassical synthesis. (Minsky, 1982, p. 5. Emphasis added.)
Minsky argued instead that financial crises are not random, but are a manifestation of the innate nature of capitalist economies. They can be anticipated by trends in private debt (though their precise timing can’t be determined because their occurrence depends in part on firms’ willingness to borrow, or banks’ willingness to lend terminating in response to levels and rates of growth of private debt that are too high relative to GDP). But most conventional economists don’t know that Minsky argued this, because he could only get published in journals that most conventional economists never read.
I say most conventional economists don’t know of Minsky’s arguments, because some have now read him—and that includes Janet Yellen.
She knows who Minsky was. She has spoken at conferences at the Levy Institute at Bard College, in upstate New York, where Minsky worked for his final years. She gave a speech there just 18 months after the crisis began, at a conference named after Minsky, in which she praised Minsky (Janet Yellen, April 16 2009, “A Minsky Meltdown: Lessons for Central Bankers”). She noted in it the irony of her giving such a speech, when the previous time she had spoken at the Levy Institute, she had extolled the virtues of derivatives (the CDOs and the like which, a decade later, helped trigger the biggest crisis since the Great Depression):
It’s a great pleasure to speak to this distinguished group at a conference named for Hyman P. Minsky. My last talk here took place 13 years ago when I served on the Fed’s Board of Governors. My topic then was “The ‘New’ Science of Credit Risk Management at Financial Institutions.” It described innovations that I expected to improve the measurement and management of risk. My talk today is titled “A Minsky Meltdown: Lessons for Central Bankers.” I won’t dwell on the irony of that.
She might not want to dwell on the irony, but I do. When she spoke at the Levy Institute in the Spring of 1996, she clearly had no idea of Minsky, nor of his diametrically opposed view of how financial markets operated.But Minsky was alive when she spoke, and may well have attended her talk. If he had, he would have shaken his head at the naivety of the views she expressed then (as I do now at her views today):
Despite the complexities I have attempted to describe today—indeed, partly because of these complexities—I remain highly optimistic that both our system of financial intermediation and our system of financial regulation will remain strong and resilient. We know much more about risk measurement and management than we did a decade ago—and a decade from now we will know still more. Just as I cannot imagine that our present system of regulation will remain unchanged forever, I cannot imagine that we will ever reach a « perfect » system of regulation and supervision. However, we can, and I believe will, make the system better as we strive to adapt to changing realities. Perhaps a future Federal Reserve governor will appear before you a decade hence to discuss the continuing evolution of our financial system. (Yellen, “The ‘New’ Science of Credit Risk Management at Financial Institutions”, Levy Institute, Spring 1996).
So back then she said she couldn’t imagine a “perfect” system of regulation, but now she can imagine a world in which another financial crisis doesn’t occur in the lifetime of her audience in London yesterday.
Clearly, what she read of Minsky after the crisis has completely slipped her mind, because in the one paper of Minsky’s she cited in her 2009 speech (Minsky, “The Financial Instability Hypothesis”, 1992), the bare bones of Minsky’s “Financial Instability Hypothesis” are outlined.
But even her choice of a paper to read by Minsky—and from the bibliography, she did read only one paper—shows a fatal lack of imagination. It was merely the first in a brief list of 13 papers by Minsky on a readily available archive site. However, Minsky had published three books and over 100 papers by the time she deigned to read just one of them.
One of those books, Can “It” Happen Again, which was released in 1982 provides 13 of his best essays in an easily accessible format. If she pined for maths, then my 1995 paper « Finance and Economic Breakdown: Modeling Minsky’s ‘Financial Instability Hypothesis” was available and findable by anyone who knows how to use EconLit, the journal abstracting service of the American Economic Association.
In other words, she didn’t read Minsky to understand him, in the aftermath to a crisis which his theory predicted and which hers treated as unpredictable. She read him simply so that she could say she had read him, and then continued to ignore him and persist with the beliefs that had led her and her predecessors blindfolded into the greatest crisis since the Great Depression. And of course, the political leaders of the world were led with her, and us citizens too, because politicians then did defer to economists like Greenspan and Bernanke as not merely experts on the economy, but sages whose oracular advice could be trusted.
That was then. We’ve since been through the crisis they thought couldn’t occur. We live in its aftermath today, and there will be another crisis in our lifetimes—as I’ll explain in my next post (if you can’t wait for the explanation, it’s all in my short book Can we avoid another financial crisis?). And yet the Federal Reserve continues to be led by, and staffed by, economists who can’t imagine that another crisis might occur.
That is not the sort of imagination we need in charge of the Federal Reserve—unless, that is, we actually enjoy running blindfolded into catastrophes.
Yellen’s confidence that another financial crisis will not occur “in our lifetimes” is sufficient reason to remove her from the Chair of the Federal Reserve, and replace her with someone who is less confident.