Dr. Steffen Murau| steffenmurau.com

How does the modern credit money system work?

The answer is not so straightforward. To dig deeper, we need a powerful monetary theory, a thorough understanding of monetary history and cutting-edge insights into the contemporary shadow banking system. Learn more ...

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What is political economy in the age of financial globalization?

To understand capitalism in the 21st century, we need adequate categories beyond the nation state and a simple states-markets dichotomy. Financial globalization works through a public-private hybridity and the offshore world. Learn more ...

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How has the 2007-9 Crisis changed the monetary system?

The year 2008 marked a seismic shift in the way that money works, in the United States and beyond. The emergency crisis interventions of the Federal Reserve and the US treasury have created a new role for the state in the monetary system. Learn more ...

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How to govern global money in the offshore world?

The international monetary system is a privatized offshore US dollar system. It emerged through crises and financial innovation, not intelligent design. Only when we learn where it comes from can we understand how to govern it. Learn more ...

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What future for European monetary integration?

The introduction of the Euro has solved old problems just as much as it has produced new issues. With QE and TARGET2 balances, Banking and Capital Market Union, the quest for a sustainable European monetary setup is ongoing. Learn more ...

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Dr. Steffen Murau

Postdoctoral Researcher 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 currently carry out a research project on the transformation of the Eurozone architecture as a postdoctoral fellow at the Global Development Policy Center of Boston University and the Monetary and Economic Department of the Bank for International Settlements. 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 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (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.

Beyond my academic work, I am a board member of the Young Initiative for Foreign Affairs and International Relations (IFAIR) e.V. — a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to promoting greater involvement of young people in international affairs through publications and transnational projects.

Research themes

The political economy of the modern credit money system

Private Credit Money Accommodation

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.

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International Monetary System

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.

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European Monetary Union

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.

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GEGI Studies

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.


Peer-reviewed journal articles, GEGI Studies, book chapters, dissertation, working papers, blog posts & newspaper articles, policy-oriented work

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Recent activities in the web and on social media

  • 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…

  • New IFAIR Impact Group on the future of the international monetary system

    17 Aug 2020 | IFAIR’s Impact Group ‘Future of the International Monetary System’ is looking for new team members to work on interactive online tool representing the Offshore US-Dollar System.
    The structures of the international monetary system have decisive influence on the global distribution of poverty and wealth, political power and individual chances. Knowledge about this system, however, is available only to a minority. The Impact Group, co-ordinated by Mathis Richtmann and Steffen Murau, wants to raise awareness about those structures of the international monetary system and make knowledge available to a broader population. For this purpose, the Impact Group will develop an online tool, based on an innovative methodology to convey complex macro-financial interdependencies. Read more…

  • Interview series with Dezernat Zukunft

    6 Jun 2020 | Berlin-based think tank Dezernat Zukunft interviews Steffen Murau on the privatized Offshore US-Dollar System and the prospects of a further Euro internationalization.
    In Part 1 of the interview series, Steffen Murau reports on his research about the Offshore US-Dollar System and assesses the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on that system. In Part 2, he speaks about the connection of offshore money creation and currency internationalization before analyzing the practical options of EU authorities to support a stronger international role of the EUR. Read more…

My department @Cityintpolitics is looking for a fixed term position in IPE from January. We are in particular looking for someone who can help with some of our teaching in data analysis or global economic governance. More details on the post are here: https://www.city.ac.uk/about/jobs/apply/details.html?jobId=796&jobTitle=Lecturer%20in%20International%20Political%20Economy%20(Education)

Coming back to Bronze Age gold hats, here‘s the one found in Ezelsdorf, southern Germany, in 1953. Made from 310 g of gold, it is 88.5 cm high. Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg. #Archaeology

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