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La Chine répète les erreurs économiques des pays occidentaux

SHANGHAI – La transition économique de l'empire du Milieu représente pour lui un énorme défi. Pour rejoindre le groupe des pays à haut revenu, le gouvernement chinois veut à juste titre privilégier le rôle du marché. La concurrence remplit bien sa fonction de régulation dans de nombreux domaines, mais ce n'est pas le cas pour le secteur bancaire. Au cours des sept dernières années, l'allocation des capitaux par les banques en Chine a conduit aux mêmes erreurs que celles qui sont à l'origine de la crise financière de 2008 dans les pays avancés.

Une croissance rapide suppose un taux d'investissement et d'épargne élevé, or une épargne  importante ne résulte presque jamais du libre choix des consommateurs. L'Etat peut financer directement des investissements, mais l'attribution de crédits par les banques a le même effet. Ainsi que Friedrich Hayek l'a formulé en 1925, dans une économie de marché, une croissance rapide dépend de "l'épargne contrainte" liée à l'augmentation du crédit.

Le Japon et la Corée du Sud ont eu recours au crédit bancaire pour financer des investissements massifs lors de périodes de croissance rapide. Les banques publiques coréennes ont financé directement des entreprises tournées vers l'exportation. Au Japon, l'Etat a "guidé" les banques privées vers le secteur exportateur.

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