Quelle solution à la crise financière ?

La crise des marchés financiers n'est pas étonnante aux yeux de ceux qui avaient averti des risques globaux liés à la bulle du marché immobilier américain. Déjà en janvier, dans son rapport annuel sur la situation économique mondiale ( Outlook for the global economy ), l'ONU avertissait des dangers qu'elle représentait pour les ménages américains lourdement endettés. Ce rapport soulignait aussi que le manque de régulation et la forte interconnexion des marchés financiers mondiaux - joints aux déséquilibres macroéconomiques mondiaux persistants - mettaient en danger la croissance et les perspectives de développement au niveau mondial, notamment dans les pays pauvres.

Traduisant ces déséquilibres, le déficit de la balance courante des USA est l'indicateur qui suscite le plus de discussions. Au cours des cinq dernières années, les USA ont siphonné plus de deux milliards de dollars par jour en provenance de l'épargne des pays étrangers, tandis que sur le plan intérieur, les facilités de crédit à une échelle jamais vue a permis aux ménages de dépenser plus qu'ils ne gagnaient. Ces emprunts étaient très attractifs quand l'immobilier et la Bourse étaient à la hausse, les taux d'intérêt faibles, et que des générations successives d'innovateurs sur les marchés financiers parvenaient à convaincre les investisseurs qu'ils maîtrisaient les risques. Dans ce climat euphorique, cela a entraîné d'autres prêts, appuyées sur des garanties surévaluées.

On n'a guère prêté attention aux avertissements quant à l'exubérance irrationnelle des marchés, en particulier quand la frénésie de consommation aux USA a contribué à alimenter la croissance mondiale. Les exportations à la hausse du Japon et de l'Europe ont favorisé le redressement économique et renforcé la confiance des investisseurs, entraînant une augmentation des exportations des pays nouvellement industrialisés, notamment de la Chine.

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