C’est le Moment d’Oser !

NEW YORK – La prochaine rencontre du G20 constitue un moment décisif. Si des mesures concrètes pour soutenir les pays qui se trouvent à la périphérie du système financier global n’y sont pas proposées, les marchés mondiaux connaîtront une nouvelle série de déclins, comme cela s’est produit après que Timothy Geithner, le secrétaire au Trésor américain, a négligé d’en prendre en février, pour recapitaliser le système bancaire de l’Amérique.

La crise financière actuelle est différente de toutes celles que nous avons connues depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Jusqu’ici, chaque fois que le système financier a frôlé une crise, les autorités se sont ressaisies et l’en ont écarté. Cette fois-ci, c’est le système lui-même qui a été entraîné dans la chute de Lehman Brothers en septembre, et qui a dû être placé sous respiration artificielle. Entre autres mesures, l’Europe et les Etats-Unis ont fait en sorte qu’il ne soit permis à aucune autre institution financière importante de faire faillite.

Cette étape était indispensable, mais elle a eu des effets indésirables inattendus: beaucoup d’autres pays, de l’Europe de l’Est à l’Amérique latine, l’Afrique, et l’Asie du Sud-Est n’ont pu offrir des garanties aussi solides. La détermination que les autorités financières nationales, du centre de l’économie mondiale, ont mise à protéger leurs propres institutions, a vidé la périphérie de ses capitaux. Les devises s’y sont dépréciées, les taux d’intérêt ont grimpé, et le prix des CDS (Credit Default Swaps) est monté en flèche. Quand on écrira l’histoire de cette crise, il faudra noter qu’à la différence de la Grande Dépression, le protectionnisme financier a précédé le protectionnisme commercial.

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