13 Feb 2022 | At the second Money View Symposium, Steffen Murau gives a preview on a new INET Working Paper that analyzes the IMF’s SDR system as a web of interlocking balance sheets and discusses its potential to address overindebtedness problems in the international financial architecture.
Dr. Steffen Murau
Research Group Leader in International Political Economy
I am a political economist specialized in international money and finance.
My research covers three major themes: private credit money accommodation, the international monetary system, and the European Monetary Union.
I am the principal investigator of the OBFA-TRANSFORM project, an Emmy Noether research group at Global Climate Forum and Freie Universität Berlin. I am also a fellow at the Global Development Policy Center of Boston University and the Monetary and Economic Department of the Bank for International Settlements.
In the winter term 2022-23, I taught BA and MA courses on political economy and quantitative methods at Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München.
Previously, I had postdoctoral affiliations at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University, the City Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC) at City, University of London, and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam.
I hold a PhD in International Political Economy from City, University of London (2017); a Magister Artium in political science, philosophy and international law from LMU München (2012); and a Bachelor of Science in economics from LMU München (2011). In 2015, I was a visiting doctoral research scholar at Columbia University, New York.
The political economy of the modern credit money system
Private credit money accommodation is a theory on the long-run transformation of the modern credit money system. During financial upswings, new forms of private credit money emerge as “shadow money”. At the end of the boom, they implode in a systemic financial crisis. When the state steps in and guarantees them, they are “accommodated” into the public money supply. Public money today is accommodated private credit money of the past.
The international monetary system of the 21st century is a privatized offshore US Dollar system. This arrangement has gradually evolved since the 1950s and replaced the state-planned Bretton Woods System when it collapsed in the 1970s. Today, international monetary affairs are primarily organized through private banks and shadow banks that use the US dollar as the unit of account and operate offshore, outside of the reach of established monetary institutions.
The European Monetary Union is a unique experiment in monetary history. Its initial design only made central bank money truly European, but left commercial bank and shadow bank money predominantly national. After a decade of smooth sailing, it entered into crisis mode in 2009 and has never fully recovered. Through endogenous change and political interventions, it now has an architecture that nobody has planned. It is continuously transforming and difficult to govern.
A series of studies that represents the Eurozone in today's Offshore US-Dollar System as a hierarchical web of interlocking balance sheets. Published by the Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) at the Global Development Policy (GDP) Center of Boston University.
Recent activities in the web and on social media
- Online Discussion with Robert McCauley on the Special Drawing Rights System and Its Ability to Ease Financial Strains in the Global South
- Macro Musings Podcast on the Eurozone, International Monetary Architecture, and the Future of the Dollar Zone
19 Jun 2021 | David Beckworth, host of the Macro Musings a podcast which pulls back the curtain on the important macroeconomic issues of the past, present, and future, interviews Steffen Murau.
In this episode, Steffen Murau joins Macro Musings to talk about the Eurozone, its role within international monetary architecture, and the future of the dollar zone. They also discuss balance sheet hierarchies, the roles of European banks compared to their American counterparts, and the fiscal ecosystem present within the Eurozone.
. Tune in…
- Essay on democratizing the Eurozone architecture wins prize of Hertie Foundation
24 Nov 2020 | LSE Blog ‘EUROPP: European Politics and Policy’ publishes a co-authored piece by Andrei Guter-Sandu and Steffen Murau that has previously won a prize in the Hertie Foundation’s essay competition on capitalism and democracy.
The Eurozone’s system of governance is often accused of lacking democratic legitimacy. Andrei Guter-Sandu and Steffen Murau write on the role of ‘off-balance-sheet fiscal agencies’, such as the European Investment Bank, European Stability Mechanism and Single Resolution Fund. They argue that the use of these institutions and mechanisms effectively constitutes a ‘fiscal ecosystem by stealth’ and that if this system were to be put under the control of the European Parliament, it could offer a channel for enhancing legitimacy. Read more…