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Une proposition inutile

CAMBRIDGE – On répète à tort et à travers que les milieux d'affaires américains attachent trop d'importance au court terme. La campagne pour l'élection présidentielle ne porte guère sur des mesures concrètes, mais elle va bientôt se clore, les électeurs choisiront et la nouvelle administration agira. Tant les républicains que les démocrates ayant critiqué le court-termisme, elle pourrait prendre des mesures pour y remédier. Mais ces mesures seront probablement inefficaces.

Non seulement on exagère le problème du court-termisme, mais les mesures envisagées pour y répondre sont inadéquates. Ainsi, soutenue en cela par le vice-président Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, la candidate démocrate, propose de recourir à la fiscalité sur les gains du capital pour encourager les détenteurs d'actions à les conserver à plus long terme.

L'idée est que lorsque les actionnaires achètent et vendent à un rythme effréné, les dirigeants des entreprises se sentent obligés de leur assurer des bénéfices conséquents à l'issue de chaque trimestre, de manière à soutenir le cours de leurs actions. A titre d'exemple, bien que prometteur de bénéfices à long terme, l'investissement en recherche et développement (R&D) peut inciter les actionnaires à vendre - d'où une baisse de la valeur en Bourse des actions au détriment de l'entreprise.

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