Fan made in China.

La politique monétaire américaine se décide-t-elle en Chine ?

AMSTERDAM – La majeure partie de cette année, les investisseurs ont été obsédés par la question du moment du « décollage » de la Fed. En d'autres termes, leur inquiétude a porté sur le moment où la Fed va augmenter ses taux d'intérêt de 25 points de base, soit de 0,25%, comme une première étape vers la normalisation des conditions monétaires. Les marchés ont connu des hausses et des chutes brutales en réponse à de petits changements dans les déclarations de la Fed, perçues comme touchant à la probabilité que ce décollage soit imminent.

Mais en cherchant à évaluer l'évolution des conditions monétaires américaines, les investisseurs ont cherché au mauvais endroit. Depuis la mi-août, quand les officiels chinois ont surpris les marchés en dévaluant le renminbi de 2%, l'intervention officielle de la Chine sur les marchés des changes a continué, afin d'éviter que le cours de la monnaie ne sombre davantage. Les autorités chinoises ont vendu des titres étrangers, principalement des obligations du Trésor américain et ont acheté du renminbi.

C'est le contraire de ce qu'avait fait la Chine quand le renminbi était fort. À l'époque, la Chine avait acheté des obligations du Trésor américain pour empêcher la monnaie d'augmenter et pour éroder la compétitivité des exportateurs chinois. En conséquence, elle a accumulé un montant stupéfiant de 4 milliards de dollars de réserves de change.

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