Comment contrôler les « criquets » que sont devenus les fonds d’investissements ?

Toutes les répercussions de la crise financière provoquée par les crédits hypothécaires à risque aux Etats-Unis ne sont pas encore connues, mais elle a déjà provoqué, comme effet collatéral, une demande pressante pour une transparence accrue, et une meilleure réglementation, des marchés financiers.

Les fonds spéculatifs et les fonds d’investissements ne sont pas soumis aux mêmes règles de transparence et de déclaration de situation financière que, par exemple, les banques et les fonds communs de placement. Ces fonds privés étaient autrefois relativement modestes. Aujourd’hui, les cinq fonds d’investissements les plus importants brassent  plus d’argent que les budgets annuels de la Russie et de l’Inde réunis. Les actifs des fonds spéculatifs et d’investissements s’élèvent actuellement à 3 mille milliards de dollars et devraient atteindre les 10 mille milliards à l’horizon 2010. Ces fonds comptent largement sur les investissements des fonds de pension et sur les liquidités empruntées aux banques et auprès d’organismes publics.

Les fonds privés représentent à présent près des deux-tiers de toute dette nouvellement contractée. Si un problème lié au crédit existe, comme dans le cas des « subprimes » aux Etats-Unis, il faut se demander quel en est la part de responsabilité des fonds d’investissements. Ils constituent, en bref, un véritable défi pour la stabilité financière et, à moins d’être réglementés, seront très probablement à l’origine de nouvelles crises financières.

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