Le FMI tiendra-t-il tête à l'Europe ?

CAMBRIDGE – Avec la crise de la zone euro qui continue de s'aggraver, le Fonds monétaire international pourrait bien avoir à reconnaître la nécessité de revoir son approche. La nouvelle directrice générale du FMI, Christine Lagarde a bien amorcé les choses par ses demandes de recapitalisation d'un système bancaire européen en déroute. La réaction outrée des instances européennes, comme quoi les banques n'ont besoin de rien d'autre qu'un soutien d'appoint à leur trésorerie, devrait renforcer la détermination du Fonds à appliquer la logique à la situation de l'Europe.

Jusqu'ici, le Fonds a poliment appuyé chaque initiative européenne de sauvetage des économies périphériques surendettées de la zone euro, en engageant des fonds dépassant déjà les 100 milliards pour la Grèce, le Portugal et l'Irlande. Malheureusement, le FMI ne risque pas seulement les contributions de ses membres, mais, finalement, sa propre crédibilité institutionnelle.

Il y a un an à peine, à la réunion annuelle du FMI dans la capitale américaine, sa direction clamait à qui voulait bien l'entendre que toute cette panique entourant la dette souveraine en Europe n'était que tempête dans un verre d'eau. Bardés de présentations léchées avec des titres du genre « Défaut de paiement par les économies avancées d'aujourd'hui : inutile, indésirable et improbable », les représentants du Fonds ont tenté de convaincre les investisseurs que la dette de la zone euro était solide comme le roc.

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