Paul Lachine

Les banques centrales déboussolées ?

OXFORD – Les banques centrales ciblent maintenant les liquidités, pas seulement l'inflation. Le boom du crédit des dernières décennies montre que la surveillance des prix ne suffit pas et qu'il serait souhaitable que les autorités monétaires de chaque pays (ou d'un ensemble de pays dans le cas de la BCE, la Banque centrale européenne) supervisent le secteur financier. Les banques centrales parlent maintenant de "régulation macroprudentielle", une mission qui viendrait compléter leurs objectifs traditionnels en matière d'inflation.

Ce changement de perspective pourrait bouleverser la politique monétaire. Mais pour le meilleur ou pour le pire ? La Banque d'Angleterre joue le rôle d'éclaireur dans cette transition, suivie par la BCE et la Réserve fédérale américaine qui s'engagent aussi vers plus de régulation financière. Le Conseil européen du risque systémique de la BCE a un rôle analogue à celui de la nouvelle Commission de politique financière (FPC) du Royaume-Uni.

A la fin d'une récente discussion avec Andy Haldane, le directeur exécutif de la stabilité financière à la Banque d'Angleterre et membre de la FPC, je lui ai demandé ce qui se passerait si le taux d'inflation est élevé et le taux du crédit bas. La Commission de politique monétaire de la Banque d'Angleterre appellerait à une hausse des taux d'intérêt, tandis que la FPC appellerait au contraire au relâchement de la politique monétaire. Je réfléchis encore à cette question, parce que la nécessité de prendre ces mesures contradictoires paraît inévitable - maintenant plus que jamais.

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