White House north lawn John Middlebrook/ZumaPress

L’Amérique en travers de la route

NEW YORK – La troisième Conférence internationale sur le financement du développement s'est récemment ouverte à Addis-Abeba, capitale de l'Éthiopie. Cette conférence survient à l'heure où les pays en voie de développement et les marchés émergents démontrent leur capacité à absorber de manière productive des montants financiers colossaux. En effet, les démarches actuellement entreprises par ces États – investissements dans les infrastructures (routes, réseaux électriques, ports, et bien d'autres projets), construction des villes qui accueilleront un jour plusieurs milliards de citoyens, et transition vers une économie verte – sont véritablement titanesques.

Dans le même temps, l'heure est à l'abondance de sommes d'argent prêtes à être mises à disposition d'une utilisation productive. Il y a seulement quelques années, Ben Bernanke, alors président du Conseil d'administration de la Réserve fédérale, évoquait un excès d'épargne à travers le monde. Les projets d'investissement prometteurs de forts rendements sociaux se trouvaient pourtant affamés de financements. Cette situation demeure actuellement. Le problème, hier comme aujourd'hui, réside en ce que les marchés financiers mondiaux, censés servir d'intermédiaire efficace entre les épargnes et les opportunités d'investissement, opèrent au lieu de cela une mauvaise affectation des capitaux, et créent un certain nombre de risques.

Intervient également un autre aspect ironique. La plupart des projets d'investissement dont ont besoin les pays émergents s'inscrivent dans le long terme, de même qu'une majeure partie des épargnes disponibles – à savoir plusieurs milliers de milliards au sein des comptes de retraite, des fonds de pension et autres fonds souverains. Or, nos marchés financiers, qui s'axent de plus en plus sur de courts horizons, se situent précisément entre ces deux univers.

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