Le pas de trop de la BCE

PRINCETON – La récente décision de la cour constitutionnelle allemande de renvoyer sa plainte contre le programme de “transactions monétaires directes” (TMD) de la Banque Centrale Européenne devant la cour européenne de justice (CEJ) présage un destin incertain pour le projet. Le principe économique des TMD est clairement défectueux – tout comme le raisonnement politique qui les justifie.

Le projet des TMD et apparu en août 2012, lorsque des mois de hausse persistante des primes de risque sur les obligations souveraines espagnoles et italiennes ont menacé la survie de la zone euro, et mis l’économie mondiale en danger. Pour restaurer la confiance et gagner du temps pour permettre aux gouvernements de réduire les emprunts, le président de la BCE Mario Draghi s’est engagé à faire « tout ce qui serait nécessaire » pour préserver la zone euro – et cela signifiait potentiellement des achats illimités d’obligations d’états membres de la zone euro en difficultés.

La déclaration de Draghi a porté ses fruits et les primes de risque ont clairement baissé dans l’ensemble des économies troublées de la zone euro. Mais le président de la Bundesbank Jens Weidmann, membre du Conseil de gouvernance de la BCE, s’est immédiatement opposé aux TMD, affirmant que ce programme dépassait le mandat de la BCE et violait l’Article 123 du traité de Lisbonne, qui interdit le financement monétaire d’états souverains en difficultés. Avant même que les TMD soient activées, Weidmann porta l’affaire devant la cour constitutionnelle allemande.

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