La crise financière européenne est-elle terminée ?

LONDRES – La Banque centrale européenne (BCE) a récemment annoncé une politique d'achat d'obligations publiques, ce qu'elle appelle outright monetary transactions (Transactions monétaires fermes) ou OMT, un programme qui pousse à la convergence des banques centrales européennes et de leurs équivalentes anglo-saxonnes. La BCE a adopté la meilleure politique possible pour sortir de la crise qui frappe depuis 2010, mais elle a considérablement élevé les enjeux en ce qui concerne les Etats.

Le cadre politique de la BCE est adapté pour faire face aux crises systémiques, mais pas aux crises locales qui peuvent faire tache d'huile. L'OMT qui lui permet d'acheter des obligations souveraines auprès des pays qui réforment leur économie rend la situation nettement plus équitable entre elle et les banques centrales des pays avancés. L'Espagne connaît les mêmes problèmes budgétaires et structuraux qu'avant le lancement de ce programme, mais elle a maintenant un prêteur extérieur de dernier ressort. Cela change les données du problème.

Avant l'OMT, le flux de capitaux quittant l'Espagne, que ce soit en raison de la vente d'obligations publiques ou de la liquidation de dettes privées, a conduit à des conditions monétaires plus restrictives. La vente d'obligations souveraines dans le cadre du régime à taux de change fixe a exercé directement une pression à la hausse sur leur rendement, tandis que la vente de titres privés par les étrangers a eu un effet analogue, mais de manière indirecte. Le resserrement monétaire n'a été anticipé qu'en raison de l'existence d'une autre source de capital étranger (qu'il s'agisse du privé ou de la BCE) pour remplacer les capitaux sortants.

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