Paul Lachine

Prime et risque : quelle relation ?

CHICAGO – Lors de sa session de juillet, le Parlement européen a adopté la réglementation la plus sévère du monde concernant les primes versées aux banquiers, ceci dans le but de limiter les risques que prennent les institutions financières.

Selon la nouvelle réglementation, la part de la prime immédiatement disponible des banquiers ne doit pas excéder 30% du total, le versement de 40 à 60% de son montant doit être ajourné d'au moins trois ans et au moins 50% doit être investi en capital conditionnel - une nouvelle forme de titre pouvant être transformé en fonds propres au cas où une firme financière se trouverait en difficulté. L'aspect le plus innovateur de cette nouvelle réglementation est le fait que ces limites ne s'appliquent pas uniquement aux pdg, mais à tous les cadres dirigeants (la définition de ce qu'est un cadre dirigeant étant de la responsabilité des parlements nationaux).

Ce sont les conséquences systémiques des primes qui servent de justification à cette interférence majeure du Parlement dans des contrats privés. Selon ce raisonnement, ces primes récompensent le succès alors que les échecs ne sont pas sanctionnés. Les gestionnaires financiers peuvent facilement aller de firme en firme quand les choses tournent mal, échappant ainsi à toute sanction. Ce système récompense ceux qui prennent des risques, même quand il est excessif. Cette distorsion serait l'une des principales causes de la crise financière de 2008.

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