Quelle fiscalité pour les banques ?

CAMBRIDGE – A la prochaine grande crise financière, on ne pourra pas dire que le FMI n'a rien fait pour l'anticiper. Il vient de proposer deux nouvelles taxes universelles sur les institutions financières, l'une qui serait sensiblement proportionnelle à leur taille, et l'autre qui s'appliquerait à leurs profits et aux primes qu'elles versent. Comme on pouvait s'y attendre, le secteur financier a réagit par le dédain et la dérision.

Par contre la réaction des présidents et des ministres des Finances du G20 est plus mitigée et plus significative. Les pays au centre de la récente crise financière, notamment les USA et le Royaume-Uni, se montrent très enthousiaste, notamment en ce qui concerne l'impôt lié à la taille des établissements financiers. De toute façon ils veulent la mettre en place. Des pays tels que le Canada, l'Australie, la Chine, le Brésil et l'Inde qui ont échappé à la récente crise bancaire sont moins enthousiastes. Pourquoi changeraient-ils un système qui s'est montré aussi résilient ?

Il est facile de critiquer les détails du projet du FMI, mais son diagnostic est exact. Les institutions financières bénéficient de la garantie implicite des contribuables, ce qui permet aux banques, particulièrement aux plus grosses d'entre elles, d'emprunter à des taux qui ne reflètent pas les risques qu'elles prennent en cherchant à réaliser des profits hors de proportion. Puisque le risque est transféré au contribuable, imposer les institutions financières en proportion de leurs emprunts est un moyen simple d'assurer l'équité.

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