La réforme de réglementation des « repos »

CAMBRIDGE - Parfois, nous ne tirons aucune leçon de nos expériences passées.

Après la crise financière, les États-Unis ont décrété la loi Dodd-Frank pour réviser le règlement financier américain, dans le but de réduire le risque d'une autre crise financière. Mais il n'a rien fait pour réformer le prêt de « repo » - sans doute le lien le plus faible de la chaîne financière. Et nous venons tout juste d'assister comme conséquence à un nouvel effondrement d'une grande société financière.

Une repo, ou pension livrée, est la vente d'un titre (souvent une obligation du trésor des États-Unis) que le vendeur promet de racheter plus tard - souvent le jour suivant la vente originale - à un prix légèrement plus élevé. L'acheteur de repo prête ainsi au vendeur, avec la différence entre le prix au comptant de l'obligation et le prix de rachat représentant l'intérêt sur le prêt. Ces prêts de repo donnent aux sociétés - en général à des sociétés financières - un accès à de vastes fonds de financement bon marché (émanant souvent des financements par le marché monétaire des États-Unis). Ce marché se compte en billions de dollars.

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