Trop Européens pour faire faillite

BERLIN – Les spéculations sont reparties de plus belles au sein des banquiers d’investissement sur la possibilité qu’un État membre quitte l’Union économique et monétaire (UEM) – ou qu’il y soit contraint. Les agences de notation financière ont abaissé la note du Portugal, de la Grèce et de l’Espagne en raison de leurs faibles perspectives de croissance et de l’endettement de l’État. L’Irlande s’est vue infliger un avertissement à implication négative et pourrait également voir sa note abaissée.

Les préoccupations concernant la défaillance financière éventuelle d’un ou plusieurs pays de la zone euro ont poussé les marges actuarielles des obligations d’État à des pics sans précédent. Depuis quelques temps, la marge entre les emprunts grecs et allemands sur 10 ans s’est creusée à plus de 300 points de base. C’est le signe que les investisseurs pensent que la Grèce risque de se retrouver dans une situation d’insolvabilité ou qu’elle pourrait être obligée de quitter l’UEM et de re-libeller ses obligations d’État.

Mais le vent de panique concernant une possible désintégration de l’UEM est excessif. Au lieu de courir le risque d’une défaillance et d’une sortie subséquente de la zone euro, il est probable que les États membres enfreignent l’un des principes fondamentaux de l’UEM et renflouent le pays en difficulté.

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