Troublantes interventions sur les taux de change

PRINCETON – S’il fallait commémorer le second anniversaire de l’effondrement de la banque Lehman Brothers le 15 septembre 2008, on pourrait citer l’intervention unilatérale du Japon pour faire baisser le cours de sa monnaie. Cet événement marque une évolution de la nature de la crise financière mondiale, passant des difficultés bancaires aux dysfonctionnements des systèmes de changes – ou plutôt à l’absence actuelle d’un système viable.

L’intervention japonaise sur le yen a tout de suite donné lieu à une controverse. Les politiciens américains l’ont dénoncée comme étant une politique de change prédatrice. Les Européens l’ont perçue comme la première étape d’une série de dévaluations compétitives. Et la Banque nationale suisse a récemment livré une bataille coûteuse et perdue d’avance pour pallier à l’appréciation du franc suisse face à l’euro, intervention qui n’a eu que pour effet de plomber le bilan de la banque centrale.

Mais l’action inattendue du Japon a aussi fait des émules, notamment la Corée du Sud et le Brésil qui ont pris des mesures similaires pour faire baisser le cours de leurs devises.

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