L'Europe va-t-elle suivre l'exemple japonais ?

MUNICH – C'en est fini du modèle d'entreprise américain. Depuis quelques années les USA empruntent des sommes énormes au reste du monde. Rien qu'en 2008, les importations américaines ont dépassé 800 milliards de dollars en capital net. L'argent est venu en grande part de la vente de titres adossés sur des prêts immobiliers et de dettes obligataires - créances contre créances se retournant au bout du compte contre les propriétaires américains (ou plus précisément contre leur maison, les propriétaires étant protégés, car dans ce type de prêt le créancier ne peut saisir que leur bien immobilier).

Le marché pour de tels titres n'existe plus. Selon les dernières estimations du FMI, leur volume d'émissions qui était de 1900 milliards en 2006 devrait atteindre difficilement 50 milliards en 2009. Ce marché a chuté de 97%. Aucun autre chiffre que celui-là n'est davantage révélateur de la catastrophe subie par le système financier américain.

Le flux d'argent des pays étrangers vers les propriétaires immobiliers américains ayant brusquement tari, les prix de l'immobilier ont baissé de 30% et la construction de nouvelles habitations a chuté de 70%. La récession était inévitable. Les salariés du secteur qui ont été licenciés ont dû se serrer la ceinture, de même que les propriétaires. Certains l'ont fait parce qu'ils avaient l'impression de s'être appauvris, d'autres parce que sous le choc de l'effondrement des opérations de titrisation, les banques ont arrêté de distribuer des prêts sur capital immobilier.

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