À quand une version II de la loi Glass-Steagall ?

MANILLE – Il y a de cela quatre-vingts ans, Ferdinand Pecora, l’homme au cigare et ancien assistant du procureur de la ville de New York, était nommé conseiller principal auprès du Comité sénatorial américain sur le système bancaire et monétaire. Dans les mois qui suivirent, sensationnelles furent les révélations du rapport de la Commission Pecora quant aux pratiques ayant conduit à la crise financière des années 1930.

Plus important encore, les recherches de la Commission aboutirent à une réforme de fond, la fameuse loi Glass-Steagall, qui opéra une séparation entre les banques commerciales et les banques d’investissement. Et la loi Glass-Steagall ne s’arrête pas là. Elle instaura une garantie fédérale des dépôts bancaires. Les systèmes bancaires individuels (dans le cadre desquels toutes les opérations sont effectuées par des entités autonomes) étant considérés comme instables, les banques furent ainsi autorisées à ouvrir de multiples succursales. La loi Glass-Steagall renforça également la capacité des régulateurs à restreindre les prêts destinés à la spéculation des marchés immobilier et boursier.

Les travaux de la Commission conduisirent également à la promulgation du Securities Act de 1933 et du Securities Exchange Act de 1934. Il incomba désormais aux émetteurs et aux traders de titres de fournir davantage d’informations, tout en étant soumis à des normes de transparence renforcées. L’idée selon laquelle les marchés de capitaux auraient été capables de s’autoréguler fut définitivement rejetée.

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