Le brouillard de la finance

Les responsables militaires parlent du “brouillard de la guerre” pour évoquer la condition d’incertitude fondamentale qui marque les combats. La récente crise des crédits et des liquidités a révélé qu’il existe une condition similaire sur les marchés financiers, car personne, pas même les banques centrales, ne semble comprendre sa nature ou son ampleur.

On suggère souvent que ce que l’on appelle aujourd’hui la crise des “subprimes” est la conséquence de politiques monétaires laxistes ayant entraîné un excès de liquidités sur les marchés financiers. Il y a toutefois ici un paradoxe évident, car comment un excès de liquidités pourrait-il occasionner, en fin de compte, une insuffisance de liquidités qui doit être compensée par les banques centrales ?

En fait, le laxisme monétaire peut être le symptôme non pas d’un excès de liquidités, mais d’un excès d’épargne. Cela se reflète dans les inégalités croissantes de revenus qui règnent dans une grande partie du monde développé, ainsi que dans les excédents vertigineux des pays producteurs de pétrole et des nations asiatiques. L’émergence de fonds souverains comme ceux de la Chine et des États du Golfe pour investir les excédents budgétaires de ces pays n’est que la partie visible de l’iceberg des excès d’épargne.

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