This is only trust because we only lend to those who we believe. Moreover, what is a high interest rate, if not a sign of distrust? But who today has confidence in whom? The United States has already lost its triple A. France, Germany, and in their wake most of the euro area, will probably lose theirs before the arrival of spring.
Today, everyone is worried about this situation. Bosses like employees, bank managers and pensioners fear the terrible rigor that the crisis will inevitably impose. But in practice, the question is above all a question of credit.
Credit crunch or not credit crunch?
Yet money is not lacking. Central banks have dumped tons on the markets since 2008. The savings accounts are full, booklets overflow without talking about the cash of large companies or Chinese reserves. It is not so much a lack of liquidity as the refusal of actors to lend each other money . By fear. By “risk aversion” as economists say. As the headline of a leading business newspaper headlines: “French banks are still struggling with liquidity. French financial institutions have increased their use of the European Central Bank by more than three since September. ”
Christmas is coming, households need money to celebrate with the family and celebrate the end of year celebrations. How many families need a new car, do work in their apartment to welcome a new child or just improve their living environment? How much should a washing machine change?
But how to pay when budgets are already tight? How to spend at one time the equivalent of several months of income to buy a used car?
Credit practices charge interest rates
Consumer credit specialists affiliated with the largest banks are facing a problem. Their usual revolving credit practices charge interest rates that are as high as they are profitable. But can a bank still lend in such a climate of distrust? What interest rate would account for the real or supposedly high risk?
So it’s the credit crunch. Credit is drying up , consumers who need it can no longer borrow and therefore consume. While France is on the verge of recession, consumption, the main engine of growth, is constrained by the lack of credit even before the impact of future plans of rigor.
Lending this money so rare and expensive
For our part, we propose to take the example of our Italian neighbors who, just a few days ago, were numerous to invest their savings in their country by lending this money so rare and expensive. According to Unicredit, the first Italian bank, the success of this operation is “a sign of the confidence that many customers have in the country and its future”.
Could we be inspired by this idea to allow households to borrow at a reasonable rate the few hundreds or thousands of euros they need? Would savers take great risks in lending some of their savings to their fellow citizens? As long as the loans are governed by precise rules and limits the risks according to the terms of the law, it is possible to finance the needs of some by the investment of others.
Utopia? Certainly not. Realism. The times are difficult. It is high time to call on the cooperation and support of the 99% who claim to exist . Solutions are not lacking to frame and organize such credits. Would not that be the basic premise of the bank: lending money to savers in exchange for a reasonable interest.
The best weapon against credit crunch, rigor and recession remains and will remain trust, a confidence that can be organized, effective and profitable.