Le retour des guerres monétaires

NEW YORK – La récente décision de la Banque du Japon consistant à accroitre la portée de son assouplissement quantitatif semble indiquer le retour prochain d’une guerre des monnaies. Les efforts de la BDJ destinés à affaiblir le yen s’inscrivent dans une approche du chacun pour soi, qui suscite aujourd’hui un certain nombre de réactions politiques en Asie et dans le reste du monde.

Craignant de perdre en compétitivité par rapport au Japon, les banques centrales de Chine, de Corée du Sud, de Taïwan, de Singapour et de Thaïlande assouplissent actuellement leur propre politique monétaire – ou s’apprêtent à le faire. Il est probable que la Banque centrale européenne, et que les banques centrales suisse, suédoise et norvégienne, ainsi que celles de plusieurs pays d’Europe centrale, se lancent également dans l’assouplissement quantitatif, ou recourent à un certain nombre d’autres mesures non conventionnelles afin d’empêcher leur monnaie de s’apprécier.

Tout ceci devrait aboutir à un renforcement du dollar américain, dans la mesure où la croissance reprend aux États-Unis, et où la Réserve fédérale a fait savoir qu’elle commencerait à rehausser les taux d’intérêt à partir de l’an prochain. Pour autant, si la croissance mondiale demeurait faible, et si le dollar venait à devenir trop fort, la Fed elle-même pourrait bien décider de reporter la hausse des taux d’intérêt, et d’y procéder de manière plus lente, afin d’éviter une appréciation excessive du dollar.

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