International political economy (IPE) has explained financial globalization as the result not merely of market pressure but of states deciding to open up and liberalize their financial systems. Challenging this ‘negative integration’ view as incomplete, this paper advances a ‘positive integration’ view of financial globalization during the 1970s that highlights the agency of monetary technocrats. As public servants acting in private markets, these technocrats act as intermediaries between the public and private, and between the national and international levels. In particular, they manage the infrastructural entanglements between public and private actors that are a core feature of capitalist credit money systems. Drawing on archival records from the ‘Standing Committee on the Euro-currency Market’ at the Bank for International Settlements, we show how this group of G-10 central bankers sought to elevate the management of infrastructural entanglements from the domestic to the international level. By ensuring that the Eurodollar market did not interfere with domestic monetary governability, while seeking to provide protection for issuers of foreign-currency liabilities, monetary technocrats established a level of positive integration that was a necessary condition for the expansion and globalization of the offshore US dollar system.
Presentations at the Politics of Money conference, Brighton (05/2018), the SASE conference, Kyoto (06/2018), the International Studies Association’s annual convention, Toronto (03/2019), the ECPR Joint Workshop Sessions, Mons (04/2019)