Paul Lachine

Le mauvais débiteur de la Chine

PEKIN– Avant que la crise financière ne frappe, les critiques au sujet des déséquilibres de la Chine – ses doubles surplus budgétaires et commerciaux – se focalisaient surtout sur la mauvaise affectation des ressources qui se produit lorsque les pays pauvres empruntent aux pays riches à un taux d’intérêt élevé et leur prêtent l’argent à des taux d’intérêt faibles. La grande ironie de la crise financière est que la situation s’est aggravée plutôt que de s’améliorer.

Les réserves de change de la Chine sont en effet confrontées à une triple déveine : une baisse du pouvoir d’achat du dollar américain, une chute des prix des titres d’état américains et l’éventualité d’une poussée inflationniste à terme.

La majeure partie des 2,3 billions de dollars de réserves de changes de la Chine sont détenus non pour se protéger d’une quelconque onde de choc extérieure, mais en tant qu’épargne constituée de bons du Trésor américain. La chine doit donc préserver la valeur de son épargne.

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