Les budgets de la zone euro sous le feu des projecteurs

DUBLIN – C’est bien connu, les marchés obligataires se caractérisent par leur inconstance, fondés davantage sur les passions que sur de rigoureuses analyses macroéconomiques, et sont loin d’être infaillibles, comme l’a démontré la crise financière mondiale de 2008. Ils présentent également bien souvent un manque de fiabilité manifeste dans l’évaluation des perspectives à long terme d’une économie.

Bien que les taux d’intérêt atteignent actuellement des niveaux historiquement bas dans l’Union européenne, la dette étatique de la zone euro pourrait subir une forte pression si ces marchés obligataires venaient à réévaluer le risque associé aux emprunteurs souverains. Il y a là une considération susceptible de peser lourdement sur les gouvernements débiteurs, lors de la soumission de leur budget à l’examen de la Commission européenne.

Les traders d’obligations ne sont pas les seuls à se laisser influencer par les exubérances (ou les inquiétudes) les plus irrationnelles. Le verdict des agences de notation autour de la qualité des actifs peut lui aussi se trouver biaisé. Ces agences se contentent trop souvent de suivre les tendances, plutôt que de les influencer. Tels le chauffeur de bus trop concentré sur ce qu’il se passe dans son rétroviseur pour regarder correctement la route, nombre d’analystes des obligations considèrent les données économiques historiques comme un déterminant clé de la performance future.

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