Paul Lachine

Etats-Unis : le socialisme pour les riches

En dépit des « pousses vertes » de la reprise économique, force est de constater que les banques américaines résistent aux tentatives faites pour les réglementer. Alors que les politiciens s’étendent sur leur volonté de réformer le système pour éviter une répétition de la crise financière, ce domaine est véritablement celui où le diable se cache dans les détails – et les banques feront tout ce qui est encore en leur pouvoir pour s’assurer qu’elles pourront continuer à agir comme elles l’ont fait par le passé.

L’ancien système était tout à l’avantage des banques (à défaut de l’être pour leurs actionnaires) – pourquoi voudraient-elles en changer ? En fait, les mesures prises pour leur venir en aide ont accordé tellement peu de place à une réflexion sur un système financier post-crise souhaitable que nous finirons pour nous retrouver avec un système bancaire moins compétitif, et ces grandes banques trop importantes pour faire faillite seront encore plus grandes qu’avant.

Il est depuis longtemps admis que ces banques américaines trop importantes pour faire faillite étaient aussi trop importantes pour être gérées convenablement. C’est l’une des raisons pour laquelle leurs performances ont été aussi lamentables. Quand elles font faillite, le gouvernement met habituellement en œuvre une restructuration financière et garantit les dépôts, obtenant ainsi une participation dans l’avenir de l’établissement bancaire. Les autorités savent bien que si elles attendent trop pour agir, des banques zombies ou presque – avec peu ou pas de valeur nette, mais traitées comme si elles étaient des institutions viables – seront tentées de « parier sur une résurrection ». Si elles parient gros et gagnent, elles empochent les gains, et si elles perdent, le gouvernement règle l’addition.

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