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

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.

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

  • Online Discussion with Robert McCauley on the Special Drawing Rights System and Its Ability to Ease Financial Strains in the Global South

    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.

  • 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…

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