Paul Lachine

Portée disparue : une direction chinoise des devises

WASHINGTON – Je partage l’inquiétude qui grandit partout dans le monde à propos du décalage entre les devises. Le Ministre brésilien des finances parle même d’une guerre latente des monnaies ; et il n’est pas si loin de la vérité, car c’est sur les marchés des devises que les différentes politiques économiques et les différents systèmes politiques et économiques interagissent et s’opposent.

Le système de taux de change dominant est bancal. La Chine a essentiellement fixé le cours de sa monnaie sur le dollar, alors que la plupart des autres devises fluctuent plus ou moins librement. La Chine a un système à deux vitesses dans lequel le compte capital est strictement contrôlé ; la plupart des autres devises ne font pas la distinction entre compte courant et compte capital. Cela entraine une sous-évaluation chronique du renminbi et assure à la Chine un important et persistant excédent de son commerce extérieur.

Mais surtout, cette situation permet au gouvernement chinois d’écrémer une part significative de la valeur des exportations chinoises sans interférer avec les incitations qui font que les gens travaillent si dur et qui rendent leur travail si productif. Cela a le même effet que la taxation, mais fonctionne bien mieux.

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