Des tests de stress déstressants

FLORENCE – Les tests de solidité financière effectués l’année dernière sur les banques américaines ont largement contribué à la restauration de la stabilité financière aux Etats-Unis et à la dissipation des craintes concernant une éventuelle faillite de grandes institutions financières. Les Européens espèrent que la récente publication des résultats de ces mêmes tests effectués sur leurs propres banques aura le même effet. Si ces résultats sont bons pour le secteur financier, cependant, ils peuvent être néfastes pour l’économie réelle. La crise financière est passée mais nous n’en sommes qu’aux prémices d’une ère de ralentissement économique généralisé.  

Les crises financières ont deux sortes d’effet sur l’économie réelle. Dans la phase critique de la crise, il y a tant de nervosité et d’anxiété qu’il est impossible à quiconque d’emprunter. Le marché interbancaire s’assèche compte tenu de la perte de confiance des banques entre elles. Seules les banques centrales – traditionnellement prêteurs de dernier ressort – résistent contre vents et marées.

Le complet effondrement du crédit commercial est à l’origine de la tourmente dans laquelle s’est retrouvé le commerce global six mois durant, suite à la faillite de Lehman Brothers en septembre 2008. Dans de telles situations, les crises financières s’apparentent à une crise cardiaque – causant des dommages immédiats et dévastateurs sur l’ensemble du corps économique.  

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