La BCE en fait-elle assez ?

FRANCFORT – Konrad Adenauer, le premier chancelier allemand de l’après-guerre, a eu cette phrase célèbre : « Pourquoi devrais-je me soucier de ce que j’ai dit hier ? » Il voulait tout simplement dire que les événements évoluent parfois avec une rapidité qui dépasse notre capacité à les appréhender. Alors que l’année 2014 se termine, cela vaut la peine de se poser rétrospectivement la question suivante : « Avons-nous, à la Banque centrale européenne, réagi suffisamment rapidement afin de maintenir la stabilité des prix face aux menaces, comme l’exige notre mandat. » Je pense que nous pouvons répondre par l’affirmative.

Nous avons constaté que notre politique monétaire n’exerçait plus sur les coûts du crédit privé les effets auxquels nous étions habitués. Il était évident que le canal du crédit au sein du système bancaire ne fonctionnait plus correctement ; les conditions d’emprunt excessivement restrictives déprimaient la demande. Face à cette situation, la BCE a agi exactement comme l’aurait fait toute banque centrale : elle a pris des mesures visant à rétablir la relation entre sa politique monétaire et le coût du crédit, en vue de faire baisser le taux moyen pour les ménages et les entreprises.

En juin, nous avons mis en place une série d’opérations de refinancement à plus long terme ciblées (appelées TLTRO) afin de fournir des financements aux banques à des taux fixes très bas pour une période allant jusqu’à quatre ans. Les TLTRO visaient à maximiser les chances de voir les banques accorder des financements aux emprunteurs qui en ont besoin. Nos programmes d’achat de titres adossés à des actifs et d’obligations sécurisées ont été conçus de manière à favoriser la transmission de la réduction des coûts de financement aux clients des banques.

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