Dr. Steffen Murau| steffenmurau.com

‘Decoding Dollar Dominance: The Global Credit View on the Monetary System in International Political Economy’ (with Herman Mark Schwartz)

This article contrasts the Sovereign Currency View (SCV) and the Global Credit View (GCV) on the monetary system in International Political Economy (IPE) regarding four crucial assumptions: endogenous credit creation versus transaction costs and loanable funds; the co-evolution of public and private credit rather than metallism vs. chartalism; interlocked balance sheets in global finance rather than a ‘triple coincidence’; and a focus on gross flows rather than net flows in global payments. By mobilizing a 2×2 “Matrix of Monetary Thought,” we show that the SCV’s monetary theory of credit leaves critical issues about the global money and credit system unexplained compared to the GCV’s credit theory of money. Viewing the credit money system as subject to a co-evolution of public and private liabilities/assets in which a central public actor repeatedly validates excess private credit creation explains the hierarchical structure of national credit systems connected through interlocked balance sheets, and crisis dynamics within those systems. This approach reverses our understanding of the current account deficits and net foreign debt that SCV authors identify as fundamental problems for the dollar, or more precisely, for dollar-based credit systems backed by a hegemonic US state. These are features, not bugs, of credit systems, and help offset capitalism’s inherent deflationary tendencies. The GCV also helps unify academic analyses that suffer from the fallacy of composition, an excessively unit-level analytic framework, or incoherence in their theoretical premises.

Presentations at the symposium “The Political Economy of International Money” in Berlin (01/2024) and a special issue workshop in Lillehammer (05/2024).

Co-author:
Herman Mark Schwartz, University of Virginia

Related articles

‘Encumbered Security. Conceptualizing Vertical and Horizontal Repos in the Euro Area’ (with Alexandru-Stefan Goghie and Matteo Giordano)

Despite the paramount centrality of repurchase agreements (repos) in today’s market-based finance regime, both conceptual and empirical questions about European repo markets are insufficiently explored as contradictory legal and accounting treatments make their on-balance-sheet representation […]

Learn More

‘Primary Dealers in the Offshore US-Dollar System. Intermediating Treasury and Central Bank Balance Sheets’ (with Will Bateman)

This study analyzes the Primary Dealer model for the issuance and distribution of sovereign debt as a distinctive feature of today’s international monetary system, the Offshore US-Dollar System. Primary dealers are a group of private […]

Learn More

‘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 […]

Learn More