Trop de concurrence dans le secteur financier ?

NEW DELHI – De nombreux économistes préconisent une réglementation qui rendrait une fois de plus les pratiques bancaires « ennuyeuses » et non concurrentielles. Après une crise, il n'est pas rare d'entendre des appels à limiter la concurrence. Durant la Grande Dépression, le chef de la National Recovery Administration des Etats-Unis avait déclaré que les employeurs avaient été contraints de licencier des travailleurs en raison de « la doctrine meurtrière de la concurrence sauvage et vorace, de l’homme est un loup pour l’homme, du chacun pour soi. » Il réclamait un environnement commercial plus collusoire, dans lequel les bénéfices réalisés sur les consommateurs seraient partagés entre employeurs et travailleurs.

Les préoccupations concernant les effets néfastes de la concurrence ont toujours existé, même parmi ceux qui ne sont pas convaincus que le diktat du gouvernement puisse remplacer les marchés, ni que la bonté intrinsèque de l'homme soit un facteur de motivation plus puissant que les récompenses et punitions monétaires. Toutefois, c’est à propos des effets de la concurrence sur les incitants à innover que le débat s’est fait le plus passionné.

Le grand économiste autrichien Joseph Schumpeter était convaincu que l'innovation est une force beaucoup plus puissante pour améliorer la condition humaine que ne l'est la simple concurrence des prix entre les entreprises. Dans sa jeunesse, Schumpeter semblait croire que les monopoles étouffent les incitants à innover – en particulier à innover radicalement. Pour faire simple, un monopole veut éviter de perdre ses profits monopolistiques en procédant à de l'innovation qui pourrait cannibaliser son entreprise existante.

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