Paul Lachine

L'efficacité des marchés ne fait plus recette !

PARIS – "Les USA ont les marchés financiers les plus actifs, les plus liquides et les plus efficaces qui existent. Le système financier américain favorise une distribution efficace des capitaux, le développement économique et la création d'emplois". Depuis des dizaines d'années ce discours est monnaie courante parmi les élus, les régulateurs et les firmes financières américaines. Malgré la crise qui a débuté en 2008, il déclenche un feu nourri de critiques contre la "règle de Volker" (du nom de l'ancien président de la Réserve fédérale Paul Volker) qui voudrait interdire aux banques de faire des investissements pour compte propre.

Le lecteur pressé passe rapidement sur ce discours bien rodé qui commence pourtant à être remis en question. Avant la crise, les autorités chargées de la réglementation voulaient en priorité supprimer les barrières commerciales et rendre les marchés plus efficaces en favorisant la rapidité et la baisse du coût des transactions sur tout un éventail de créances.

Mais aujourd'hui l'idée qu'une plus grande efficacité des marchés soit partout et toujours dans le sens de l'intérêt général est critiquée. Cette efficacité n'alimente-t-elle pas aussi leur instabilité et n'est-elle pas dans l'intérêt des intermédiaires plutôt que dans celui de leurs clients ? La nécessité d'une réglementation des marchés, considérée comme une entrave à leur bon fonctionnement dans la période d'innocence qui a précédé l'apocalypse de 2008, sert maintenant à justifier des réformes qui pourraient ralentir les transactions et diminuer leur volume.

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