Dettes souveraines et créanciers vautours

NEW YORK – Comme les individus et les entreprises, les pays endettés qui comptent sur les procédures de faillite pour réduire le poids d'une dette excessive ont parfois besoin d'une restructuration ordonnée de celle-ci. Mais le combat de l'Argentine contre certains de ses créanciers qui ne veulent rien céder - un feuilleton judiciaire interminable - montre que le système international a des difficultés à gérer la restructuration ordonnée des dettes souveraines.

C'est par manque de chance, en raison de mauvaises décisions ou d'une combinaison des deux qu'un individu, une entreprise ou un pays glisse dans le surendettement. Si après avoir obtenu un prêt immobilier vous perdez votre emploi, vous jouez de malchance. Si votre dette devient insoutenable parce que vous avez trop emprunté pour prendre de longues vacances ou acheter des objets coûteux, c'est votre conduite qui est en cause. On peut en dire autant des entreprises : certaines ont de la malchance et leurs projets échouent, tandis que d'autres se surendettent pour verser des émoluments excessifs à des dirigeants médiocres. 

La malchance, une politique ou un comportement inadéquat peuvent aussi conduire un Etat au surendettement. Si la balance commerciale d'un pays se dégrade et qu'une récession importante se prolonge, l'assiette fiscale diminue et la dette de l'Etat peut croître de manière excessive. Mais son surendettement peut aussi être la conséquence d'emprunts destinés à financer des dépenses excessives, de revenus insuffisants ou de mesures qui minent le potentiel de croissance du pays.

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