Paul Lachine

Déclencher les OMT

CHICAGO – L'Europe a connu une période de calme après la tempête depuis le discours où le président de la BCE Mario Draghi a prétendu « faire tout son possible » en juillet, et depuis la décision de la BCE en septembre de procéder à son programme « d'opérations monétaires à terme sec » (OMT) pour acheter les obligations d'Etat des membres en difficulté de la zone euro. Les écarts de taux d'intérêt des obligations d'Etat italiennes et espagnoles ont chuté de façon spectaculaire, les émissions d'obligations d'entreprise ont repris et un sentiment de normalité se propage lentement sur le continent.

Mais il serait absurde de conclure que les problèmes de l'euro sont résolus. Les fondamentaux économiques sont loin d'être stables, tandis que la baisse de la tension financière est le résultat heureux d'un jeu d'attentes. Tant que les investisseurs croient que l'Italie et l'Espagne seront finalement sauvés par les OMT, les coûts d'emprunt de ces pays seront bas et le sauvetage ne sera pas nécessaire. Toutefois si le moindre doute se manifeste quant à l'efficacité des OMT, le jeu d'attentes enclenchera la marche arrière et les obligations d'Etat des deux pays essuieront rapidement les feux de la critique.

Une telle source de doute peut être le cran de sûreté des OMT. Pour devenir opérationnels, tous les gouvernements européens doivent l'approuver. Les règles sont variables parmi des pays de l'UE, mais en Allemagne, « l'approbation du gouvernement » implique l'approbation du parlement. Dans une situation d'urgence, il est difficile d'imaginer que l'Allemagne ne préfère pas l'approbation à la catastrophe d'un non-remboursement italien ou espagnol. En effet, tout retard pourrait suffire à déclencher une panique bancaire dans un de ces deux pays. Il pourrait être trop tard avant que le Bundestag allemand ne se décide.

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