Finance : il ne faut pas interdire les CDS

CHICAGO – La SEC, le gendarme de la Bourse américain, vient de porter plainte contre Goldman Sachs pour fraude liée à un défaut d'information sur des dettes obligataires, les CDO (collateralized debt obligation) qu'elle vendait à ses clients. La justice jugera de la légalité du comportement de Goldman Sachs, mais cet épisode a conforté l'opinion publique dans son rejet des CDS (credit default swaps) - des instruments permettant de s'assurer contre le risque de défaillance d'un crédit - car ils sont utilisés pour parier contre les CDO.

Avant la crise financière de 2008, les CDS étaient un produit ésotérique connu seulement d'une poignée d'initiés, investisseurs avertis ou spécialistes au sein de l'université. Aujourd'hui tout le monde en a entendu parler et ils sont devenus synonymes de spéculation sans vergogne, de cupidité sans limite et de facteur d'instabilité systémique. Ils sont accusés d'être l'une des principales causes de la crise financière, au point que cette réputation odieuse menace leur existence devant le tribunal que constitue l'opinion publique.

Surfant sur la vague populiste, quelques politiciens ont demandé leur interdiction et la récente crise grecque a encore renforcé le camp anti-CDS. N'est-ce pas à cause d'une défaillance du marché des CDS que la Grèce s'est trouvée au bord de la faillite et que les fonctionnaires ont subi une forte baisse de salaire ?

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