Trop gros pour vivre

NEW YORK – Une nouvelle controverse fait rage : que requièrent les nouvelles régulations pour restaurer la confiance dans le système financier et s’assurer qu’une autre crise ne survienne à nouveau d’ici quelques années. Le Gouverneur de la Banque d’Angleterre, Mervyn King, a demandé que soient imposées des restrictions sur le genre d’activités dans lesquelles peuvent s’engager les méga-banques. Le Premier Ministre, Gordon Brown, pour sa part, prêche tout autre chose. Car après tout, la première banque britannique à tomber fut la Northern Rock dont la principale activité était le crédit immobilier, ce qui a coûté quelques 50 milliards de dollars.

Selon Brown, de telles restrictions n’empêcheront pas la survenue d’une autre crise. Mais King a raison d’exiger que soient bridées les banques qui sont trop importantes pour faire faillite. Aux Etats-Unis, en Grande Bretagne, et ailleurs, les grandes banques sont responsables d’une grande part du surcoût que les contribuables ont dû assumer. L’Amérique a laissé 106 banques plus petites faire faillite, ne serait-ce que cette année. Ce sont les méga-banques qui entrainent les méga-coûts.

La crise est le résultat d’au moins huit défaillances qui bien que distinctes sont interconnectées :

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