Pour une taxe mondiale sur les opérations financières

BERLIN – Mais que s’est-il passé sur les marchés financiers de la planète ? En bref : l’implosion du meilleur des mondes de la finance moderne et la crise économique qui a suivi étaient ancrés dans l’idée que les marchés de capitaux libres et non régulés fonctionnent toujours pour le bien public, et sont tout ce qu’il faut pour prospérer économiquement. Le prologue à la crise combinait crédit bon marché, dérégulation et course au rendement chez les cadres pas effrayés par les risques connexes.

Lors de l’éclatement de la bulle de l’immobilier, puis de l’effondrement des marchés financiers, la croissance a chuté partout dans le monde comme cela n’était pas arrivé depuis la Grande Dépression. Le PIB des pays avancés devrait reculer de 4 % cette année. Les pertes totales du secteur financier dans les économies avancées s’élèvent à environ 1 600 milliards de dollars. Or, le FMI s’attend à l’avenir à des pertes de plus du double de ce total. Nous continuerons de perdre des emplois. L’explosion du déficit public handicapera les générations futures. Des années seront nécessaires avant de nous remettre complètement d’aplomb.

Or, malgré tous ces maux, les acteurs des marchés financiers qui subsistent ont tiré de gros avantages du sauvetage gouvernemental. La ligne de conduite du G20 pour soutenir ce secteur est en général de plus de 30 % du PIB (injections de capitaux, garanties, prêts du Trésor et achats d’actifs, apport de liquidités et soutien divers des banques centrales y compris). Notre riposte politique à la crise doit comporter de nouvelles formes de financement et de répartition du fardeau fiscal. C’est dans ce contexte que le ministre des affaires étrangères allemand Frank-Walter Steinmeier et moi-même proposons une taxe mondiale sur les transactions financières (TTF).

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