Dr. Steffen Murau| steffenmurau.com

‘Transformation of the Eurozone Architecture. On Crises and Institutional Change in the Offshore US-Dollar System’ (with Alexandru-Stefan Goghie, Matteo Giordano and Friederike Reimer)

The Eurocrisis was a make-it-or-break-it moment for the EMU with a profound impact on the transformation of the Eurozone architecture. However, its underlying macro-financial causes remain insufficiently understood. While dominant narratives emphasize excessive sovereign debt issuance, weaknesses of the Stability and Growth Pact, or lacking supranational supervision, they cannot convincingly explain how and why the US-centric run on shadow money spilled over to some EMU treasuries and disregard the critical role of EMU repo markets and the Eurosystem’s collateral framework. Drawing on the macro-financial model developed in Murau (2020), this paper analyses the crisis-driven transformation of the Eurozone architecture from the Global Financial Crisis to the Asset Purchase Programmes in 2014. We argue that the contagion dynamics across private and public balance sheets of the Eurozone and US monetary architectures should be understood as “endogenous forces” that critically determined the EMU’s transformation towards its contemporary shape. We operationalize it with a novel methodology that combines structured process-tracing with balance sheet visualization of crisis dynamics. Drawing on primary and secondary sources as well as private and public sector data, we apply an analytical scheme that starts with on-balance-sheet contractions, followed by the activation of inbuilt elasticity provision mechanisms; where these fail, innovation occurs which can materialize via enhanced elasticity space, new instruments, or even new institutions. As a result, we provide a novel perspective on the process of financial integration in the EMU and derive hypotheses for a theory on the endogeneity of crisis-driven change in modern monetary architectures.

Presentations at the symposium “Crises Capitalism. Shadow Banking, Central Banks, and New Configurations of State-Financial Market Entanglements” in Hannover (06/2023), the workshop “Money in Open Economies” at Leeds Business School (09/2023), and at the Annual Conference of the Political Economy Section of the German Association for Political Science (09/2023).

Alexandru-Stefan Goghie, Freie Universität Berlin
Matteo Giordano, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Friederike Reimer, Global Climate Forum

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