Pourquoi les grandes banques vont s’enrichir davantage

FLORENCE – Les crises bancaires graves sont à la fois source de longues perturbations douloureuses mais aussi de surprises. Les leçons tirées immédiatement après une crise n’ont pas beaucoup de rapport avec le résultat final. La question de savoir à qui s’en prendre est de suite résolue par des réponses évidentes, qui ne correspondent que rarement au nouvel aspect revêtu par le paysage financier en fin de compte dessiné.

La crise, qui démarra en 2007 dans le secteur des « subprimes » aux Etats-Unis et au sein des banques américaines qui étaient « trop grosses pour tomber », incita bon nombre de spécialistes à prédire d’emblée la fin du capitalisme financier américain. Or, les banques les plus touchées se trouvaient ailleurs, et, sur le long terme, les gagnants seront une poignée de banques américaines – y compris certaines comptant parmi les plus faibles et de manière notable – que la crise aura fini par enrichir. Alimenté par l’argent du contribuable, le capitalisme américain fait un retour en force.

Le caractère singulier de la finance justifie le fait que les leçons les plus évidentes d’une crise ne soient pas retenues. Le système bancaire est par nature compétitif ; mais c'est une industrie où la compétition n'a jamais très bien fonctionné.

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