Le système monétaire international est en pleine santé

CAMBRIDGE – Que se passera-t-il pour les grandes devises mondiales en 2011 ? Depuis trois ans les taux de change jouent au yoyo en raison de la crise. Il est donc utile de faire le point sur la valeur des devises et le fonctionnement du système de taux de change flottant. Je pense que nous allons assister cette année à une guerre des devises, à l'effondrement de certaines d'entre elles et à la prolongation du chaos actuel – ce qui n'augure pas pour autant l'arrêt de la reprise économique et encore moins la fin du monde.

Reconnaissons tout d'abord que dans l'ensemble le système moderne des taux de change flottants a remarquablement bien fonctionné. Mais étant donné la complexité des facteurs de risque et les particularités des différentes politiques, depuis quelques temps il est particulièrement difficile d'identifier la logique qui sous-tend les mouvements de balancier des taux de change. Ainsi, alors que les USA étaient au cour de la crise financière, dans un premier temps le dollar a pris de la valeur.

Même si les variations des taux de change restent quelque peu mystérieuses, leur effet d'amortissement est indéniable. La forte dépréciation de l'euro après la crise a favorisé les exportations allemandes, ce qui a permis à la zone euro de rester à flot.

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