Les écluses financières de la Chine

NEW YORK – Tandis que commence à ralentir l’économie de la Chine, après plusieurs décennies de croissance spectaculaire, le gouvernement devrait se retrouver de plus en plus exposé aux sirènes de la libéralisation de son compte de capital. Il pourrait s’agir d’une démarche a priori attractive, d’autant plus que le gouvernement chinois souhaite internationaliser le renminbi. Seulement voilà, les apparences se révèlent parfois décevantes.

Selon un récent rapport, les autorités chinoises auraient tout intérêt à se méfier de la libéralisation du compte de capital. Tirant les leçons des récentes expériences d’autres pays émergents, ce rapport recommande à la Chine d’adopter une approche séquencée et prudente, dans l’exposition de son économie aux caprices des flux de capitaux mondiaux.

L’aspect commun aux épisodes survenus récemment dans les économies émergentes – de l’Amérique latine jusqu’en Asie de l’est, en passant par l’Europe centrale et orientale – réside dans le caractère extrêmement pro-cyclique des flux de capitaux, qui constituent la principale cause d’instabilité financière. Or, l’instabilité financière sur le plan national, combinée à une libéralisation, impacte lourdement la performance économique, de même que pèse sur cette performance le manque de contrôle des intermédiaires financiers non bancaires – une difficulté à laquelle la Chine commence à être confrontée, à mesure que la contribution du secteur bancaire de l’ombre à la croissance du crédit se fait de plus en plus prononcée.

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