Paul Lachine

Faire renaître un mariage de politiques

WASHINGTON, DC – Jusqu’il y a peu, la séparation de la supervision financière et la politique monétaire était en vogue dans beaucoup de pays. Certains pays – comme le Royaume-Uni et l’Australie – sont allés jusqu’à confier la responsabilité de la stabilité financière à des agences spécialisées et priver leur banque centrale de toute compétence concernant la supervision financière. Pourtant, la crise financière globale nous a contraint à réunir supervision macroéconomique et gestion macroéconomique.

Ce rapprochement est une conséquence de la reconnaissance de plus en plus importante du fait que les cycles des prix des actifs doivent être pris en compte, autant dans la gestion macroéconomique que dans la supervision financière. Avant la crise, les cycles des prix des actifs étaient considérés par beaucoup comme largement inoffensifs ou, au moins, comme un canal de transmission de la politique monétaire relativement insignifiant. Même lorsque l’apparition fréquente de bulles de prix d’actifs fut reconnue, l’opinion dominante estimait que toute tentative de détection et de dégonflement précoces serait vouée à l’échec – et potentiellement néfaste. De fortes diminutions des taux d’intérêt après l’éclatement des bulles seraient une manière plus sûre de protéger l’économie.

Le plan de politique dominant ressemblait dans les grandes lignes à ceci : l’objectif prioritaire de ciblage d’inflation suivi par les autorités monétaires dans leurs décisions de taux d’intérêt devrait suffire à maintenir la stabilité des prix et la croissance économique proche de son niveau potentiel. Quant à la supervision financière, la stabilité serait garantie par l’imposition de règles prudentielles saines aux institutions financières individuelles, en leur imposant de préserver des réserves de capital proportionnelles à leur exposition au risque. Alors que les banques centrales devraient veiller à maintenir des niveaux de liquidité adéquats dans le système, la régulation financière dite « microprudentielle » devrait superviser de manière indépendante la solidité des banques et la protection des déposants.

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