Le défi chinois de l’investissement

NEW YORK – La Chine est assise aujourd’hui sur 2,4 trillions de dollars de réserves en devises étrangères, la plus importante réserve nationale au monde (le Japon détient le second rang avec un trillion de dollars). Mais ce trésor s’accompagne d’un vrai casse-tête : comment les responsables du Parti Communiste Chinois doivent-ils placer tout cet argent ?

Les banquiers internationaux estiment qu’environ deux tiers des réserves chinoises ont été investis en actifs en dollars. En d’autres termes, la Chine possède aujourd’hui une part énorme de la considérable dette américaine. Les réserves chinoises investies dans ces instruments financiers conservateurs sont relativement protégées, mais leur rendement est assez faible. Elles ont cependant contribué à soutenir l’économie chinoise en permettant aux Américains de contracter des crédits à la consommation pour acheter plus de produits chinois qu’ils n’en ont réellement besoin.

Cette relation économique de co-dépendance, dysfonctionnelle à terme, aborde aujourd’hui un moment de vérité. Tout d’abord, il y a des limites au nombre de trillions de dollars que la Chine peut, et devrait, investir dans les bons du Trésor américains. Après tout, si le dollar devait être dévalué, la Chine ne veut pas avoir trop d’oufs dans le panier américain. Les investisseurs sont sensés diversifier leurs risques, et la Chine doit faire de même.

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