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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How to finance the Green Transition to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions?

Financing politically desired large-scale transformations is a process that requires diligent macro-financial governance and must involve the entire monetary architecture. It starts with an initial expansion of balance sheets, organization of long-term funding, stabilizing against financial crises, and facilitating an orderly final contraction. Learn more ...

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Dr. Steffen Murau

Research Group Leader in International Political Economy

I am a political economist specialized in international money and finance.

My research covers four major themes: private credit money accommodation, the international monetary system, the European Monetary Union, and financing large-scale transformations.

Currently, I work as 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.

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 should be understood as 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 US monetary jurisdiction.

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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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Financing Large-Scale Transformations

The Green Transition to net-zero carbon emissions is the greatest challenge of our age. We broadly know what technically needs to happen, but where should the money come from to pay for it? Financing large-scale transformations is a process that requires macro-financial governance, which involves manufacturing an initial balance sheet expansion, organizing long-term funding, stabilizing against financial crises, and facilitating an orderly final contraction.

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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, and policy-oriented work

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Funding bodies