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Finance éthique : oxymore ou realutopie ? (Ethical financce: oxymoron or realutopie ?)

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  • Rémy VOLPI

    ()
    (labrii, ULCO)

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    Abstract

    La crise du credit crunch, au-delà du rideau de fumée de ses aspects techniques, n’est autre qu’un profond déficit d’éthique. De telles crises, cependant, ne sont en rien nouvelles. Le capitalisme s’est édifié et consolidé à partir de l’avènement de crises financières. Chaque fois, comme le décrit le schéma schumpetérien de la destruction créative, un meilleur système s’est instauré, depuis le Banco del Rialto et la Casa di San Giorgio, à la Wisselbank, la Banque d’Angleterre, ou la Federal Reserve. Mais cela n’a pas empêché les folies telles que la Tulipmania ou la bulle de la Compagnie des Mers du Sud, pour n’en citer que quelques unes, situées loin dans le temps. Le modèle conventionnel de l’homo oeconomicus n’est pas à même de nous fournir une explication solide sur l’effet Veblen ou sur les bulles financières. Les économistes, qui recourent à des explications de types vaudou et zombie qu’ils désapprouvent, en disent long sur leurs propres limites. Tout à l’opposé, la très parcimonieuse théorie de René Girard sur le désir mimétique, avec les concepts de médiation externe et interne, est étonnamment convaincante. La médiation externe mène à l’émulation sans violence, qui est spécifique des temps modernes, grâce à l’éthos de confiance. Mais quand la confiance s’estompe, se produit un changement en faveur de la médiation interne, menant à un emballement du système, caractéristique, dans le vocabulaire de Girard, d’une crise sacrificielle. Pour s’y opposer, les réglementations rigides de la realpolitik peuvent proliférer, elles seront pratiquement vaines sans une attitude de Realutopie exigeant davantage d’éthique. Trois buts doivent être atteints : un gouvernement mondial, une monnaie mondiale, le pouvoir aux actionnaires, pas aux managers. Aussi, soyons réalistes, visons l’impossible : l’éthique. The credit crunch crisis, beyond the smokescreen of its technicalities, is but a deep lack of ethics. Such crises, however, are nothing new. Capitalism did build up from the occurrences of financial crises. Each time, as described by the Schumpeterian creative-destruction pattern, a better system was set up, from the Banco del Rialto and the Casa di San Giorgio, to the Wisselbank, the Bank of England, or the Federal Reserve. But this did not prevent such follies as the Tulipmania or the South-Sea Bubble, to name but a few and remote ones. The conventional homo oeconomicus model fails to give us any sound explanation about the Veblen effect or about financial bubbles. Economists reprovingly resorting to voodoo and zombie behaviours as an explanation are just speaking volumes about their own limits. In contrast, René Girard’s eminently parsimonious theory of mimetic desire, with the notions of internal and external mediation, is amazingly convincing. External mediation leads to emulation without violence, which is specific of modern times, thanks to the ethos of confidence. But when confidence fades away, then a shift towards internal mediation happens, leading to a runaway system which typifies a sacrificial crisis in Girard’s parlance. To counter it, stiff realpolitik regulations may proliferate, they would be almost useless without a Realutopie attitude demanding more ethics. Three goals are to be achieved: a world government, a world currency, power to the shareholders, not to the managers. So let us be realistic and look for what is impossible: ethics.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation in its series Working Papers with number 217.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2009
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    Publication status: Published in Cahiers du Lab.RII, June 2009
    Handle: RePEc:rii:riidoc:217

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    Keywords: Gerard; mimetic theory;

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