Trop important pour être réformé ?

LONDRES – On dit que le meilleur journalisme est le premier brouillon de l’histoire. Cela est sans aucun doute le cas du dernier ouvrage d’Andrew Sorkin, Too Big to Fail (Trop important pour faire faillite, ndt). En tant qu’acteur mineur des évènements dramatiques décrits par Sorkin (je suis directeur indépendant de Morgan Stanley à mes heures perdues), je suis bien placé pour dire qu’il a fort bien décrit l’atmosphère de chaos et d’incertitude qui régnait à New York à l’automne 2008.

Les plaques tectoniques du système financier semblaient en effet se dérober sous nos pieds. Les institutions financières, considérées comme autant de rochers de Gibraltar, se sont révélées être des volcans éveillés, sur le point de se dissoudre en lave et en cendres. Même Goldman Sachs n’a pu survivre que grâce aux attentions de la Réserve Fédérale des Etats-Unis. De l’autre côté de l’Atlantique, le gouvernement britannique s’est retrouvé le fier propriétaire de plus de 80% de la Royal Bank of Scotland, qui selon certaines études, a un temps été considérée comme la plus importante banque du monde.

Cette expérience fut une leçon pour les banques, les régulateurs, les banques centrales et les ministères des finances, qui, ce qui ne surprendra personne, étaient peu préparés à gérer une telle crise. Ils manquaient d’outils et de moyens.

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