Le saut dans l’inconnu de la BCE

FRANCFORT – La Banque centrale européenne est au milieu d'une expérience de grande ampleur et risquée. Les taux d'intérêt directeurs sont restés proches de zéro depuis maintenant six ans. Les marchés financiers sont inondés de liquidités. La gestion de crise a entraîné des distorsions de marché majeures ; la performance de certains segments n’est aujourd’hui plus explicable par les données économiques fondamentales. Les conséquences imprévues de cette politique sont de plus en plus visibles – et seront de plus en plus tangibles à mesure que la Réserve fédérale américaine continue de sortir de sa politique monétaire ultra-accommodante d’après 2008.

Et pourtant, la crise de l’Europe est loin d'être terminée, comme le démontrent les décisions du conseil des gouverneurs de la Banque centrale européenne en juin et septembre. Cela reflète deux facteurs : trop peu d'ambition dans la poursuite des corrections de bilan essentielles, ainsi que la lenteur des progrès – négligeables en France et en Italie – dans les économies nationales de l’Europe en restructuration.

La décision de la BCE de redoubler son stimulus monétaire doit donc être considérée comme un acte de désespoir. Son taux directeur a été réduit à 0,05%, le taux de dépôt est négatif et des opérations de refinancement ciblées à plus long terme sont censées encourager les prêts bancaires. En outre, le marché des titres adossés à des actifs doit être relancé par l'achat de TAA. Tout cela est destiné à inonder les marchés, augmenter la taille du bilan de l'Eurosystème de 700 milliards d’euros (890 milliards de dollars) et revenir au volume de bilan enregistré au début de 2012.

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