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Les périls de la liberté financière

LONDRES – En 2007, le Premier ministre chinois d'alors Wen Jiabao, a décrit à merveille l'économie de son pays comme « instable, déséquilibrée, non coordonnée et non durable. » Aujourd'hui le déséquilibre perdure, ainsi qu'une économie trop axée sur les investissements et trop dépendante du crédit.

Les dirigeants chinois actuels se sont engagés à construire un modèle plus équilibré et estiment que le marché doit jouer un « rôle déterminant » pour le réaliser. Mais, bien qu'une plus forte discipline de marché soit nécessaire dans certains domaines, les autorités chinoises ne doivent pas se faire d'illusion : les marchés libres ne sont pas une panacée pour le secteur financier. En effet, les déséquilibres économiques actuels de la Chine reflètent en partie les dangers créés par la concurrence sur les marchés du crédit.

Même avant la crise financière mondiale de 2008, le taux annuel d'investissement/PIB de la Chine se situait à un niveau exceptionnellement haut de 40% et les économistes souhaitaient  une transition vers une croissance qui soit davantage fondée sur la consommation. Mais l'énorme relance de crédit mise en place en 2009 a davantage stimulé l'économie dans la direction opposée. Le taux d'investissement a augmenté de 47% en 2012 et le secteur du bâtiment représente aujourd'hui 30% de la production. Le crédit total a augmenté de 130% du PIB à 200%, avec les prêts bancaires et le crédit du « système bancaire parallèle » en expansion rapide.

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