Quel est le degré de corruption des marchés financiers américains ?

Pourquoi la Bourse américaine s'est-t-elle si bien comportée au cours des derniers mois (l'indice Dow a augmenté de plus de 30 % depuis sa baisse le 11 mars 2003 et a fermé au-dessus de 10 000 le 11 décembre) alors même que les médias signalaient une suite interrompue de scandales financiers ? Nous avons assisté aux escroqueries à la Enron perpétrées par des directeurs d'entreprise, aux tromperies et à la duplicité à la Arthur Anderson de la part de comptables et, dernièrement, aux irrégularités de détermination du moment propice à la Putnam Funds de la part des fonds mutuels. Après toute cette boue, pourquoi n'y a-t-il pas plus d'investisseurs qui se retirent pour montrer leur désaccord ?

Cela est dû essentiellement à une amélioration marquée des revenus des sociétés et des conditions économiques en général. Les scandales peuvent couler le sentiment du marché, mais leur effet est englouti par la prospérité économique grandissante, du moins pour l'instant.

Il est certain que la télévision, la radio, les journaux, les magazines et les sites Internet ont fait tout un battage publicitaire sur la mauvaise gestion financière des entreprises, éveillant et façonnant le type de réponses émotionnelles qui ont souvent un puissant impact sur les marchés financiers. Mais les émotions qui attirent l'attention (telles que la colère) ne sont pas les seuls facteurs qui entraînent les décisions d'investissement.

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