Le chaos des devises

BRUXELLES – Guido Mantegna, le ministre brésilien des Finances, a parfaitement saisi l’air du temps monétaire en parlant d’une imminente « guerre des devises ». Ce qui semblait n’être au départ qu’un litige bilatéral entre les Etats-Unis et la Chine à propos du taux de change du renminbi s’est transformé en une controverse généralisée sur les devises et les flux de capitaux.

Aujourd’hui, tous les pays semblent vouloir  déprécier leur monnaie. Le Japon a renoué avec les interventions sur le marché des changes, et la Réserve fédérale américaine (Fed) et la Banque d’Angleterre préparent chacune un rachat à grande échelle d’obligations d’État – une mesure appelée assouplissement quantitatif, qui abaisse les taux d’intérêt à long terme et qui déprécie indirectement la monnaie nationale.

De son côté, la Chine résiste fermement aux pressions exercées par les Etats-Unis et l’UE pour qu’elle accélère la très lente appréciation du renminbi face au dollar. Les pays émergents ont recours à un éventail de stratégies pour décourager les influx de capitaux ou pour neutraliser leurs effets sur le taux de change.

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