Paul Lachine

Crise de foi dans la finance

MILAN – La controverse qui agite le monde sur la régulation de la finance fait rage. Arguments et propositions, souvent contradictoires, se bousculent dans les champs public et politique, jusqu’à provoquer la désorientation.

Face à la réforme de la régulation financière, certains proposent, avec des arguments  plus ou moins convaincants, de limiter la taille et l’envergure des institutions financières. Ils affirment que des entités plus réduites peuvent faire banqueroute sans mettre en danger tout le système, en évitant aux contribuables le coût d’un sauvetage. Mais si le risque systémique se manifeste sous des aspects encore difficiles à saisir entièrement, les banques peuvent très bien toutes faire banqueroute, ou se trouver en difficulté simultanément, et porter un coup à l’économie réelle.

Un deuxième argument, selon lequel la limitation de la taille et de l’envergure des banques a assez peu de valeur en termes de performances, provoque des débats animés. Ce fait est utilisé à l’appui d’un troisième argument: les institutions importantes en taille exercent trop d’influence politique, exposant leurs régulateurs au risque de “capture.” Autrement dit, les grosses institutions financières  lucratives se débrouillent toujours pour avoir le système de régulation qu’elles désirent – un système en adéquation avec de grosses affaires très rentables, allant au-delà de ce que demandent leurs réserves et ne cherchant qu’à maximiser les gains à court terme.

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