La racine de toutes les crises de la dette souveraine

NEW YORK - La crise de la dette grecque a soulevé la question de savoir si l'euro peut survivre sans une centralisation presque inimaginable de la politique budgétaire. Il existe un moyen plus simple. Des emprunts irresponsables par les gouvernements sur les marchés internationaux du crédit nécessitent des prêts irresponsables. Les autorités de contrôle bancaire devraient simplement dire non à ce type de prêt par des institutions qui tombent déjà sous leur compétence.

Le prêt à des gouvernements étrangers est à bien des égards intrinsèquement plus risqué que la dette privée non garantie ou que les obligations à haut risque. Les emprunteurs privés doivent souvent offrir des sûretés accessoires, telles que leurs maisons. La sûreté accessoire limite le risque de perte en cas de baisse pour les prêteurs et la peur de perdre des actifs gagés encourage les emprunteurs à agir prudemment.

Mais les gouvernements n'offrent aucune garantie et leur principale incitation à rembourser - la peur de subir un arrêté des comptes de la part des marchés internationaux de crédit - provient d'une addiction perverse. Seuls les gouvernements chroniquement incapables de financer leurs dépenses d'impôts nationaux ou leur dette intérieure doivent continuer à emprunter de grosses sommes à l'étranger. Le fort appétit de bénéfice des prêteurs étrangers dérive généralement d'une certaine forme de mauvaise gouvernance profondément ancrée.

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