Renminbi bank notes

Le piège du taux de change chinois

NEW YORK – Depuis des mois, la politique de taux de change de la Chine a semé le trouble sur les marchés financiers mondiaux. Plus précisément, la confusion à propos de cette politique a semé le trouble sur les marchés. Les autorités chinoises n’ont pas réussi à bien communiquer leurs intentions, ce qui a favorisé l’opinion qu'ils ne savent pas ce qu'ils font.

Pourtant, il est plus facile de critiquer la politique chinoise que d'offrir des conseils constructifs. Le fait est que le gouvernement chinois est à court de bonnes options. Il n’y a aucun doute que le pays se porterait mieux avec un taux de change plus flexible qui éliminerait les paris à sens unique des spéculateurs et agirait comme un absorbeur de chocs économiques. Cependant, la littérature qui se penche sur les « stratégies de sortie »  – sur la façon de passer d’un taux de change fixe à quelque chose de plus flexible – indique clairement que le moment où la Chine aurait pu aborder cette transition en douceur est maintenant passé.

Les pays peuvent sortir d'une parité fixe en douceur seulement quand il y a une large confiance dans l'économie, qui encourage la croyance qu’un taux de change plus flexible est autant susceptible de s’apprécier que de s’affaiblir. Cela était peut-être vrai pour la Chine dans le passé ; ce n’est plus le cas aujourd'hui.

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