Paul Lachine

Les cercles vicieux de l’Europe

BERKELEY – Il semble que la crise de l’euro ne montre aucun signe de fléchissement. Alors qu’en 2011 les dirigeants européens étaient supposés reprendre le dessus sur les événements, les problèmes de la zone euro n’ont cessé d’empirer. Ce qui était à l’origine une crise grecque s’est répandu aux pays du sud de l’Europe, pour finalement se changer en crise pan-européenne. En effet, avant la fin de l’année, les banques et les gouvernements ont commencé à concevoir des plans de secours afin de faire face à l’effondrement de l’union monétaire.

Rien de tout cela n’est inévitable. Il s’agit plutôt du reflet de l’incapacité des leaders européens à stopper précisément deux effets de spirale néfastes.

Le premier effet spiral s’est propagé de la dette publique aux banques, pour gagner de nouveau la dette publique. Les doutes sur la capacité des gouvernements à rembourser leurs dettes ont entraîné la montée en flèche des taux d’emprunt et la chute de la valeur des obligations. Mais, surtout, cette crise des dettes a entaché la confiance dans les banques européennes, ce qui a fait peser des interrogations sur les obligations. Dans l’impossibilité d’emprunter, les banques sont devenues incapables d’accorder des prêts. Au fil de l’affaiblissement des économies, les perspectives d’assainissement budgétaire se sont raréfiées. La valeur des obligations a par la suite continué de chuter, causant encore davantage de tort aux banques européennes.  

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