Les histoires que l’on raconte à propos des grandes banques

WASHINGTON, DC – Il y a deux récits concurrents qui circulent à propos des efforts récents pour réformer le système financier et concernant les dangers que posent aujourd’hui les très grandes banques dans le monde entier. L’un de ces récits est faux ; l'autre est effrayant.

Au centre du premier récit, celui préféré par les dirigeants du secteur financier, on trouve l’idée que toutes les réformes nécessaires ont déjà été adoptées (ou le seront bientôt). Les banques ont moins de dettes par rapport à leurs niveaux de capitaux propres qu’en 2007. De nouvelles règles limitant la portée des activités des banques sont en place aux États-Unis et seront bientôt inscrites dans une loi au Royaume-Uni – et l'Europe continentale pourrait leur emboîter le pas. Les partisans de ce point de vue affirment également que les mégabanques gèrent mieux les risques que ce qu'elles ne faisaient avant que la crise financière mondiale n’éclate en 2008.

Dans le second récit, les plus grandes banques du monde restent trop grosses à gérer et ont de forts incitants à s'engager dans précisément le genre de prise de risque excessive qui peut mettre les économies à genoux. Les pertes de trading enregistrées par le surnommé « London Whale » à JPMorgan Chase l'an dernier en sont un bon exemple. Et, selon les défenseurs de ce récit, presque toutes les grandes banques présentent des symptômes de mauvaise gestion chronique.

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