Paul Lachine

Barils, boisseaux, et obligations

CAMBRIDGE – Les prix des hydrocarbures, des minerais et des denrées agricoles semblent embarqués sur de véritables montagnes russes. Alors que les prix des matières premières sont toujours plus sujets aux fluctuations que ceux des biens manufacturés et des services, les marchés de matières premières connaissent depuis cinq ans une extraordinaire volatilité, pratiquement sans précédent.

Les pays spécialisés dans l'exportation de pétrole, de cuivre, de fer, de café ou d'autres denrées, sont en pleine expansion, mais sont extrêmement vulnérables. Le prix de ces matières exprimé en dollars pourrait plonger à tout moment, du fait d'une nouvelle récession, d'une augmentation des taux d'intérêt réels aux Etats-Unis, des changements climatiques ou de certains facteurs sectoriels aléatoires.

Les pays dont la dette échue est exprimée en dollars ou toute autre monnaie sont particulièrement vulnérables. Si leurs revenus d'exportation devaient s'effondrer par rapport à leur capacité de service de la dette, cela pourrait entraîner des crises comparables à celle qui a éclaté en Amérique Latine en 1982, ou aux crises monétaires asiatiques et russes de 1997-1998.

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