Risky Rich

NEW YORK – Au vu des vastes dettes et déficits publics actuels, le risque souverain devient une sérieuse préoccupation dans bon nombre d'économies avancées. Dans le passé, le risque souverain se limitait à l’économie des marchés émergents. En effet, durant la dernière décennie, la Russie, l’Argentine et l’Equateur n’ont pu assurer le remboursement de leur dette, tandis que le Pakistan, l’Ukraine et l’Uruguay, menacés de défaut de paiement, ont restructuré leur dette publique de manière drastique.

Or, la plupart des marchés émergents – à quelques exceptions près en Europe centrale et orientale – ont amélioré leur performance fiscale en réduisant l’ensemble de leurs déficits, en réalisant de vastes excédents primaires, en abaissant le rapport dette publique/PIB et en réduisant l’asymétrie des devises et des échéances de leur dette publique. Par conséquent, le risque public souverain est aujourd’hui davantage un problème pour les économies avancées que pour les économies émergentes.

En effet, les mauvaises notes attribuées l’an dernier par les agences de notation, l’accroissement de l’écart souverain et la mise aux enchères de la dette publique manquée dans des pays tels que le Royaume-Uni, la Grèce, l’Irlande et l’Espagne nous montrent bien qu’à moins que les économies avancées commencent à mettre de l’ordre dans leurs institutions fiscales, les investisseurs, les surveillants des marchés obligataires et les agences de notation pourraient bien se transformer en ennemis. En raison des efforts faits (dépenses de relance, baisse des recettes fiscales et calfeutrage et protection du secteur financier) pour combattre la rudesse de la récession, doublée d’une crise financière en 2008-2009, la position fiscale des pays développés a empiré.

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