Comment renflouer les bonnes banques et laisser échouer les mauvaises banques

LOS ANGELES – Comment peut-on répondre aux défaillances systémiques de grande ampleur dans le système financier d’un pays ? Personne ne veut renflouer des banques qui prennent de mauvaises décisions. Mais pour sauver un système financier du désastre, il faut faire en sorte d’éviter que toutes les banques ne s’écroulent en même temps. Il nous faut trouver un moyen de sauver les bonnes banques mais autoriser les mauvaises à faire faillite. Mais comment peut-on distinguer les bonnes et les mauvaises banques ?

Lorsque les marchés paniquent, comme en 1929 et encore en 2008, il est essentiel de soutenir le système financier. L’alternative serait une dépression dans le même esprit de celle des années 30. Mais cela ne veut pas dire qu’il faudrait renflouer les banques privées.

L’histoire économique récente foisonne d’exemples de crises financières : les Etats-Unis à la fin des années 80, la Suède, la Finlande et la Norvège en 1992, le Japon en 1998 et pratiquement l’ensemble de l’économie mondiale en 2008. Les traitements qui ont été appliqué à ces crises offrent de nombreuses leçons.

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