Global financial crisis: the french policy answer in a EU perspective
Document de travail de l'OFCE
Document de travail de l'OFCE : 2009-32
The 2007-2009 crisis has led to a return of Keynesian analyses and policies. The paper analyses the contradictions between a structural crisis, the implementation at a very large scale of Keynesian policies and the denial to undermine financial capitalism. The crisis has led the French government to endorse French traditional views according to which government actions have a major role. Although stimulus measures have been limited in France, the economy has been less affected than others thanks to the size of its automatic stabilisers and financial and economic archaisms. However the French government has not abandoned the objective of large public expenditure cuts. European authorities have had to admit that public deficits would rise but they have not implemented coordinated stimulus policies. EU countries are still requested to bring their budgetary positions back into balance, independently of economic developments. Yet the rise in public deficits and debts has not generated any rise in long-term interest rates and in inflation expectations. Two main issues remain: can fiscal and monetary policies alone be expected to boost activity if the roots of the crisis lie in structural imbalances? Will fiscal exit strategies be an opportunity for leading classes to cut massively social and public expenditures?