Spring/Summer 2020
Race and Money

Contributors: Mehrsa Baradaran, Michael O'Malley, Michael Ralph, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, David Freund, Destin Jenkins, Devin Fergus, Peter Hudson, Camille Walsh, Tanay Tatum-Edwards, Shennette Garrett-Scott, K-Sue Park, and Sarah Quinn.

In several historic moments of banking or monetary reform, issues of race were inextricably tied to issues of money.

Winter 2020
Banking: Intermediation or Money Creation

Contributors: Morgan Ricks, Marc Lavoie, Robert Hockett, Saule Omarova, Michael Kumhof, Zoltan Jakab, Paul Tucker, Charles Kahn, Daniel Tarullo, Stephen Marglin, Howell Jackson and Christine Desan, Sannoy Das

Spring 2020
Special Edition: Money in the Time of Coronavirus

Contributors: Katharina Pistor, James McAndrews, Saule Omarova, Mark Blyth, Jamee Moudud, Elham Saeidinezhad, Dan Awrey, Fadhel Kaboub, Leah Downey, Virginia France, Lev Menand, Nadav Orian Peer, Robert Hockett, Carolyn Sissoko, Jens van 't Klooster, Oscar Perry Abello, and Gerald Epstein

Spring 2020
Virtual Currencies and the State

Contributors: Bill Maurer, Lev Menand, Lana Swartz, J.S. Nelson, Benjamin Geva, Hilary Allen, David Golumbia, Finn Brunton, Gili Vidan, Marcelo De Castro Cunha Filho, Susan Silbey, John Haskell, Nathan Tankus, Katharina Pistor, and Joseph Sommer

Teaching Money 20/21

This Teaching Money in 20/21 page will enable us to find and share resources particularly relevant for the upcoming year. For example, we are especially curious about your teaching on:

  • The COVID-19 policy response in money, finance and social insurance
  • The past and present of racial segregation through the financial system
  • Proposals for its undoing
  • The interface of money and climate policy
  • Resources you plan to use in your remote teaching (videos, handouts, slides etc.)
Please send all relevant materials to our Assistant Editor, Dan Rohde:

Trivia Contest Winners!

See Trivia Contest Answers and Winners!

Winners for the 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century,' directed by Justin Pemberton and featuring Thomas Piketty tickets.

Policy Spotlight
The Narrow Bank Update: SDNY dismisses TNB suit

Author: Gavriel Schreiber

The Narrow Bank (TNB) is a state-chartered passthrough bank that proposes to hold only one asset: account balances at the Federal Reserve. Providing an ultra-safe option for large investors to hold their high-powered money is meant to increase financial stability and extend the benefits of Federal Reserve accounts,

About Us

Our aim is to encourage discussion, debate, and scholarship on money’s design and its reform towards a world that is as just as it is (economically) productive. (read more)

Winter 2020
Banking: Intermediation or Money Creation

Contributors: Morgan Ricks, Marc Lavoie, Robert Hockett, Saule Omarova, Michael Kumhof, Zoltan Jakab, Paul Tucker, Charles Kahn, Daniel Tarullo, Stephen Marglin, Howell Jackson and Christine Desan, Sannoy Das


Our roundtables provide the opportunity for a short, concentrated discussion of a particular design innovation or controversy. Projected topics include banks and money creation, state public banking, postal banking, the Libra currency project (Zuck Bucks), and open access Federal Reserve Accounts. An invited contribution from a key player or knowledgeable commentator kicks off the discussion with an entry that sets out the topic. We publish solicited responses by people with a variety of perspectives. We welcome your suggestions for topics and participants. Please send them to Dan Rohde,

[View all Roundtables]

About Roundtables

Our roundtables provide the opportunity for a short, concentrated discussion of a particular design innovation or controversy. Projected topics include banks and money creation, state public banking, postal banking, the Libra currency project (Zuck Bucks), and open access Federal Reserve Accounts. An invited contribution from a key player or knowledgeable commentator kicks off the discussion with an entry that sets out the topic. We publish solicited responses by people with a variety of perspectives. We welcome your suggestions for topics and participants. Please send them to Dan Rohde,

About Policy Spotlights

This column includes short pieces explaining policy proposals that highlight, revise, or contest current monetary design. While we focus on contemporary proposals, historical episodes may be included occasionally. Columns are written by editors or by student authors and will be updated monthly. Students interested in becoming a Just Money columnist should contact Dan Rohde:

Policy Spotlights

This column includes short pieces explaining policy proposals that highlight, revise, or contest current monetary design. While we focus on contemporary proposals, historical episodes may be included occasionally. Columns are written by editors or by student authors and will be updated monthly.
Students interested in becoming a Just Money columnist should contact Dan Rohde:

[View all Policy Spotlights]

About Current Scholarship

This page contains abstracts and links to recent scholarship on monetary design and related issues. We also welcome posts to older scholarship that should be flagged.
Please submit abstracts to Dan Rohde:

Current Scholarship

This page contains abstracts and links to recent scholarship on monetary design and related issues. We also welcome posts to older scholarship that should be flagged.

Please submit abstracts to Dan Rohde:

[View all Scholarship]

Teaching & Resources

The Teaching Archive collects syllabi, course materials, and other teaching tools (videos, charts, animations). We would be delighted to post all relevant contributions. Please send them to Dan Rohde:

[View Teaching & Resources]

Seminar - Harvard University
History and Economics Seminar

The Joint Center for History and Economics – Spring 2020
February, 18, February 26, and April 20

Tuesday, February 18, 4:30pm 
Diana Kim, Georgetown University
Empires of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition across Southeast Asia
CGIS-S030, 1730 Cambridge Street

Wednesday, February 26, 4:30pm 
Chenzi Xu, Dartmouth College
Reshaping Global Trade:  The Immediate and Long-Term Effects of Bank Failures
CGIS-S030, 1730 Cambridge Street

Monday, April 20, 5:15pm
Paul-Andre Rosental, Sciences Po
A Human Garden: French Policy and the Transatlantic Legacies of Eugenic Experimentation
CGIS-S030, 1730 Cambridge Street

Current Scholarship
Money and the ‘Level Playing Field’: The Epistemic Problem of European Financial Market Integration

Author: Troels Krarup

Financial market integration processes in the European Union (EU) are characterised by an epistemic problem of economic theory. This problem encompasses what ‘the market’ is, how it is to be ‘integrated’, and the nature and role of ‘money’ as infrastructure of the fully integrated market. The EU’s legal framework has imported this epistemic problem along with the competitive conception of the market as described in economic theory – as a ‘level playing field’ for private exchange, under free, fair and ideally unrestrained competition. It manifests itself in European financial market integration processes, as exemplified in the article, via two otherwise disconnected areas of European Central Bank (ECB) activity: (a) the provision of central bank credit for the purpose of financial transaction settlement in the Eurozone; and (b) the conduct of ordinary monetary policy in the Eurozone. While the problem can be stabilised through legal, technical and other means, it remains latent, and may manifest itself again in unexpected ways, as happened in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Thus, contrary to ideologies that are widely understood as more or less coherent systems of doctrines, epistemic problems are characterised by specific tensions, contradictions and conceptual uncertainties.

Current Scholarship
The (impossible) repo trinity: the political economy of repo markets

Author: Daniela Gabor
In its capacity as debt issuer, the state has played a growing role in financial life over the last 30 years. To examine this role and connect it to shadow banking, the paper develops the concept of the ‘repo trinity’, which captures a set of policy objectives that central banks outlined after the 1998 Russian crisis, the first systemic crisis of collateral-based finance. The repo trinity connected financial stability with liquid government bond markets and free repo markets. It further reinforced the dominance of the US government bond market as institutional template for states adjusting to a world of independent central banks, market-based financing and global competition for liquidity. Central banks and the Financial Stability Board recognized the impossible nature of the trinity after 2008, attributing cyclical leverage (financial instability) and elusive liquidity in collateral markets to deregulated repo markets, markets systemic to shadow banking. The new approach triggered radical changes in crisis central banking but has not powered significant regulatory interventions in the absence of an alternative mode of organizing government bond markets.

Daniela Gabor (2016) The (impossible) repo trinity: the political economy of repo markets, Review of International Political Economy, 23:6, 967-1000

Available at:

Submissions Now Open for 25th Annual Barnes Conference, March 20-21, 2020

The James A. Barnes Club, Temple University’s graduate student history organization, is pleased to announce the 25th Annual Barnes Club Graduate Student History Conference. The event will feature a keynote address from award-winning Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Kate Brown, author of Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future.

The Barnes Club Conference will be held Friday evening March 20 and Saturday March 21, 2020, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Temple University’s Center City Campus in downtown Philadelphia. The Barnes Club Conference is one of the largest and most prestigious graduate student conferences in the region, drawing participants from across the nation and around the world.

Proposals from graduate students for individual papers or panels are welcome on any topic, time period, or approach to history. We welcome proposals that foreground public history and digital humanities, and are eager to work with applicants in these fields to facilitate their participation. Panels will include three or four paper presentations, running between fifteen and twenty minutes each, with comment and questions to follow.

At the conclusion of the conference, cash prizes will be awarded to the best papers in multiple scholarly categories. Of particular note is the Russell F. Weigley – U.S. Army Heritage Center Foundation Award, a substantial award offered through the U.S. Army Heritage Center to the best paper in military history presented at the conference.

Please submit a 250-word abstract that outlines your original research and a current C.V. via this link no later than Tuesday, December 31, 2019.more

Policy Spotlight
Italy’s mini-BOT Proposal

Author: Michael Svedman

The proposal by Italy’s Lega Norda (or League) political party to introduce a currency-like instrument called the mini-BOT that would circulate alongside the euro has generated significant commentary and criticism. These debates shed light on the public dimension of money by forcing us to consider the relationship between monetary authority and political sovereignty. With implications reaching far beyond the economic impact of such an instrument, the mini-BOT raises urgent questions about the stability of the European Union, the rise of populism on the Left and Right, and the coherence of the neoliberal political and economic consensus that underwrites the EU project.

Course Overview
The Legal Architecture of Globalization: Money, Debt and Development – Overview

Harvard Law School, Spring 2019
Professor Christine Desan

Course Syllabus [pdf] | Course Materials [page]

Course Description: An integrated political economy now covers much of the globe.  This course focuses on the monetary structure of that phenomenon as a matter created and contested in law.  Trade, extraction, exchange, debt, and economic development – for centuries, all have depended on money as their medium.  By examining the changing legal design of money, we will study globalization as a material, ideological, and distributive event of enormous significance.

Early sovereigns prioritized domestic law, both public and private, in developing the rules that provide the basic matrix for exchange. Those rules created the mediums that carry value – including money, credit, and circulating capital.  Nation-states today still claim sovereignty over those decisions; they are basic to self-determination and economic development.  But the latitude for those decisions had changed.  New monetary and financial relations now bind states, individuals, and other entities together and reconfigure the possibilities for their interaction.

We consider the way that political communities assert sovereignty in money and finance, the challenges that occur as different sovereign projects collide, interact, or compete with one another, and the character of the international orders that have resulted, including those of early Europe, the era of the Gold Standard, the Bretton Woods period, and the contemporary system.  We will focus, in particular, on the advent and development of finance-based money, a form of liquidity based on sovereign debt and expanded by commercial banks and capital markets. … more

Inaugural LPE Project Conference – Call for Papers: “Law and Political Economy: Democracy After Neoliberalism”

The Law and Political Economy Project’s inaugural conference, to be held April 3rd & 4th, 2020 at Yale Law School, will be an opportunity for LPE scholars to come together to identify and develop pressing questions for law and political economy as a movement, and for the current political moment. For more information, go to:

Course Materials
Constitutional Law of Money – Materials

Professor Christine Desan (profile)
Harvard Law School – Fall 2017

Course Overview (Description and Syllabus)

I. Governing at the Material Level

Class 1: The Dollar as a Democratic Medium
Readings Notes and Discussion

Class 2: Money: the Basic Design
Readings Notes and Discussion

Class 3: Money: the Modern Design (a very brief introduction)
Readings Notes and Discussion

II. Experiments with Money: Economic Development, Sovereignty, and the Contest over Federalism (1690-1865)

Class 4: Money and Self-Determination — The Colonial  Experience
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 5: Money and Nation-building – the Revolution and the Constitution
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 6: The New Federalist Approach to Money: Public Debt and National Banking
 Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 7: Revising Public Obligation: The Contracts Clause and Article I, Sec. 10 
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 8: State Development Strategies in an Illiquid World: Banks and Corporations
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 9: Federalism Contested: Jackson and the Battle over the Bank(s)
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 10: Free Banking: The High Tide of State Power
Readings, Notes and Discussion

III. Configuring Federal Monetary Power (1865-Present)

Class 11: National Banking I: Federal Entry into Retail Banking
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 12: National Banking II: Constitutional Claims to Credit Outside the Commercial System
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 13: Conceptualizing the Modern Market: Gold, Futures, and Economic Expertise
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 14: “Fed-eralizing” the Monetary System
Guest lecturer: Prof. Nadav Orian Peer, Tulane Law School
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 15: Liberating the Fed: the Movement towards Discretionary Monetary Policy
 Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 16: Credit Allocation as a Political Project
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 17: Market Funding and Financialization
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 18: The Financial Crisis
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 19: The Constitutional Charge of Administrative Accountability and Independence: The Fed and Monetary Policy
Readings, Notes and Discussion

IV: Money in Constitutional Dimension: Contemporary Issues

Class 20: The Constitutional Right to Credit?more

Course Overview
Constitutional Law of Money – Overview

Professor Christine Desan (profile)
Harvard Law School – Spring 2019

Syllabus  |  Course Materials (coming soon)

Course Description:
According to one of the framers, the “soul of the Constitution” was the clause allocating authority over money.   Over the following centuries, money has remained at the center of debates over governance, including the division between state and federal sovereigns, American approaches to economic development and social welfare, the scope of judicial review, federal preemption, and the allocation of fundamental decisions about material distribution.  The authority of the Federal Reserve, for example, apparently includes the ability to make monetary policy decisions that move hundreds of billions of dollars.  This 3-credit course picks up an essential line of constitutional debate and determination, including those concerning the national debt, the contracts clause, state police powers, the Legal Tender Cases, the Gold Clause cases, and the role and responsibilities of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

Course Materials
The Legal Architecture of Globalization: Money, Debt, and Development – Materials

Harvard Law School, Spring 2019
Professor Christine Desan

Introduction and Overview

Class 01: Money, Debt, and Development: Challenges and Change in a Globalizing World
Reading, Background and Discussion

I. A Baseline: Money and its Design in the Early Western World

Class 02: Course Overview and Introduction to Money as a Legal Institution
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 03: Commodity Money and Medieval Constitutionalism (the Law on Money Creation and Debasement)
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 04: Medieval Money, Development, and the Law on Exchange (Usury and Nominalism)
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 05: Sovereignty and International Law in an Age of Bullion: the Early Modern Settlement
Reading, Background and Discussion

II. The Early Modern Quartet: Modern Money, Public Debt, Securities Markets, and Commercial Banking in the Era of European Expansion

Class 06: The Invention of Modern (Bank-based) Money
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 07: The New Public Law of Money: Public Debt and the Ascendance of Creditors’ Rights
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 08: Securities Markets and the Accommodation of International Law: the Rise of Capital Out of the South Sea Debacle
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 09: The Development of Commercial Banking
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 10: Time-out – Contemporary Money-Making (a short introduction to the modern Fed, commercial banks, and the way they Interact)
Reading, Background and Discussion

III. The “First Globalization”: the International Gold Standard and its Legacies

Class 11: Modern Markets as a Radical Innovation: Power, Problems, and Commentary
Reading, Background and Discussion

Class 12: The Quartet on the Stage of Empire: Finance in the Ottoman World (i.e.,more

Just Money Profiles
Christine Desan, Managing Editor

Christine Desan
Christine Desan is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the author of Making Money:  Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2014).  The book argues that a radical transformation in the way societies produce money ushered in capitalism as a public project.  From creating money as a direct credit (coined or not) that linked the political community to members, sovereigns moved to intermediating the public medium.  They issued it through investors, nascent central bankers, and enshrined the profit motive as the incentive that regulated money’s production.  Those innovations exploded old strictures on money creation and revolutionized attitudes towards self-interest.

Desan’s research more generally explores money as a constitutional (small “c”) project that structures material life and governance. Earlier work focused on the adjudicative power of legislatures and sovereign immunity.  Desan teaches courses on the constitutional law of money, globalization as a monetary phenomenon, and monetary reform.  She is co-founder of Harvard’s Program on the Study of Capitalism, an interdisciplinary project that brings together classes, resources, research funds, and advising on that subject and has taught the Program’s anchoring research seminar, the Workshop on the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism, with Professor Sven Beckert (History, Harvard University) since 2005.  Desan is on the Board of the Institute for Global Law and Policy and is an editor of the journal Eighteenth Century Studies. She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and served on her municipality’s committee on campaign reform for ten years. 


Just Money Profiles
Dan Rohde, Assistant Editor

Dan Rohde

Dan Rohde is an S.J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School, where his research focuses on the intersection of monetary institutions, business firms and employment. His dissertation will look historically at how the creation of modern monetary institutions paved the way for the development of the employment relationship.

Prior to enrolling at Harvard Law School, Dan practiced in labor and employment law at a leading union-side law firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as well as at a legal clinic that specializes in cases with a systemic impact on those living in poverty throughout Ontario. He also worked briefly as an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, NY.

Dan has a B.A. from the New School University, an M.S. in Education from Brooklyn College, and a J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  After law school, he clerked at the Ontario Court of Appeal for Associate Chief Justice Alexandra Hoy, Associate Chief Justice Dennis O’Connor and Justice Eileen Gillese.

Just Money Profiles
Mehrsa Baradaran, Co-Editor

Mehrsa BaradaranMehrsa Baradaran is a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  Baradaran writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap. Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, both published by the Harvard University Press. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap was awarded the Best Book of the Year by the Urban Affairs Association, the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran was also selected as a finalist at the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Awards for the book in the category of history/biography.

Baradaran has also published articles including “Jim Crow Credit” in the Irvine Law Review, “Regulation by Hypothetical” in the Vanderbilt Law Review, “It’s Time for Postal Banking” in the Harvard Law Review Forum, and  “Banking and the Social Contract” in the Notre Dame Law Review.  Baradaran and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, the AtlanticSlateAmerican Banker, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times; on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and Public Broadcasting Service’s “NewsHour;” and as part of TEDxUGA. She has advised U.S. Senators and Congressmen on policy, testified before the U.S. Congress, and spoken at national and international forums like the U.S.… more

Just Money Profiles
Roy Kreitner, Co-Editor

Roy KreitnerRoy Kreitner is a professor at the law faculty of Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on private law theory, jurisprudence and legal history, and the history and theory of money. His scholarship includes Calculating Promises: The Emergence of Modern American Contract Doctrine (Stanford, 2007), and articles such as The Jurisprudence of Global Money (Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 2010); Legal History of Money (Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 2012); Toward a Political Economy of Money (in Research Handbook on Political Economy and Law, Hugo Mattei & John D. Haskell eds., 2015); Voicing the Market (Toronto Law Journal, 2019); and Money Talks: Institutional Investors and Voice in Contract (Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 2019).

Kreitner is currently working on a book manuscript on the history of money in the United States between the Civil War and World War I. The book details the transformation of money from a searing issue of electoral politics in the last third of the 19th century to an expert dominated issue of bank reform by the time of the establishment of the Federal Reserve. It tries to answer the question of how money could go from center-stage and fever pitch to non-partisan technocratic reform within a generation, and to explore the meaning of such a shift not only for money, but for the shape of American capitalism writ large.

Kreitner has been a fellow at the American Council of Learned Societies and at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School, the University of Virginia, and the University of Toronto.

Just Money Profiles
Lev Menand, Co-Editor

Lev MenandLev Menand is a lecturer in law and academic fellow at Columbia Law School. Lev’s research focuses on banking law and financial regulation, central banking, money and monetary administration, the law of regulated industries, legal theory, and the history of economic thought. During the Obama administration, Lev served as senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions. He has also worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in both the Bank’s Supervision Group and in its Research and Statistics Group, where he helped to develop econometric models for the Federal Reserve System’s first Comprehensive Capital Assessment and Review. During his time at the New York Fed, Lev was seconded to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, where he helped to prepare the Council’s first financial stability report. Lev has a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the Southern District of New York and Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Just Money Profiles
Nadav Orian Peer, Co-Editor

Nadav Orian PeerNadav Orian Peer is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School. His scholarship and teaching focus on the law of financial institutions, including banking, capital markets, derivatives and community reinvestment.

Orian Peer’s research explores the intense framework of governance and regulation that undergirds the day-to-day functioning of financial markets. The design and operation of this framework has profound implications for the distribution of credit and economic opportunity in society. His recent articles include Negotiating the Lender-of-Last-Resort: The 1913 Fed Act as a Debate Over Credit Distribution (15 NYU Journal of Law & Business, 2019) and Your Grandfather’s Shadow Banking: Clearing and Call Loans in Gilded Age New York, forthcoming in Inside Money: Re-Theorizing Liquidity (Christine Desan ed.). Orian Peer’s current research focuses on policy proposals to increase access to credit for important social goals like fair housing, and climate mitigation efforts.

Before joining Colorado Law, Orian Peer worked as a visiting assistant professor in Tulane Law School, as well as a business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Financial Markets Group). He completed an S.J.D. at Harvard Law School, where he taught as a Byse Fellow. As a member of the Israel Bar Association, he also practiced commercial litigation, specializing in bankruptcy and secured transactions.


Just Money Profiles
Morgan Ricks, Co-Editor

Morgan RicksMorgan Ricks is Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School. He studies financial regulation. From 2009-10, he was a senior policy advisor and financial restructuring expert at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he focused primarily on financial stability initiatives and capital markets policy. Before joining the Treasury Department, he was a risk-arbitrage trader at Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago-based hedge fund. He previously served as a vice president in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch & Co., where he specialized in strategic and capital-raising transactions for financial services companies. He began his career as a mergers and acquisitions attorney at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. He is the author of The Money Problem: Rethinking Financial Regulation (U. Chicago Press 2016).

Just Money Profiles
Bryna Godar, Columnist

Bryna Godar is a JD at Harvard Law School (class of 2021). Prior to law school, Bryna worked as a journalist in Wisconsin and Minnesota, including at The Capital Times and The Associated Press. She primarily covered policy and politics at the local, state, and national levels, including national elections, the criminal law system, and government spending decisions.

As a law student, Bryna has focused on economic and social justice. She has worked as a legal intern at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, is involved in the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School, and has researched data tracking requirements for police departments. She is also an editor for the Harvard Law Review and a mediator for the Harvard Mediation Program.

Just Money Profiles
Michael Svedman, Columnist

Michael Svedman, ContributorMichael Svedman is a JD at Harvard Law School (class of 2020). He has worked as a legal intern at ArchCity Defenders, a civil rights law firm in St. Louis, MO, and as a summer associate in the corporate department at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, NY. Michael’s research as a law student has focused on matters related to the law of money and finance, and he has written on topics including the Italian mini-BOT proposal and the status of parallel currencies under EU law, the political economy of large passive investment vehicles, and corporate governance reforms aimed at curbing financialization.

Michael is also the executive article editor of the Harvard Law & Policy Review and a managing editor of the Harvard Law School Blockchain and Fintech Initiative’s Ledgers & Law blog.

Just Money Profiles
Susan Smith, Web Developer

Susan Smith - White Mountains, NHSusan Smith is a faculty assistant at Harvard Law School. Before coming to HLS, she was a course manager, project evaluator and mentor for students working through online programming courses at Udacity.

Susan has a B.A. from Framingham State University, and an A.L.M. from the Harvard University Extension School.


[View all Conferences]

We include Calls For Papers (CFPs), conference and meeting announcements, and other relevant events that come across our radar.  Currently, the Archive includes panels, keynotes, and photos of the conference on Money as a Democratic Medium (Harvard Law School, Dec. 14-15, 2018). 

We welcome notices and other relevant content.  They should be sent to Dan Rohde:

MDM 2018: Welcoming Remarks

Podcast: Christine Desan opens the first Money as a Democratic Medium conference.

Christine Desan, Harvard Law School

Recognizing money and credit as public projects exposes issues of democratic purpose and possibility. In a novel focus, this conference makes those issues central. 

MDM 2018: Monetary Sovereignty, Democracy, and Economic Development

Recognizing the character of money as a sovereign project throws the complexity of economic development, especially in a globalized monetary system, into high relief. The hegemony of certain moneys as reserve currencies, the dense growth of financial markets, and the role of international financial institutions all now configure the landscape. How have efforts to democratize money, an initiative that depends on domestic participation, fared in the past and how might they relate to public welfare and economic development in an era when monetary sovereignty is challenged?

Presentations and Discussion

Katharina Pistor – Columbia Law School
“Capital Rules by Law”
Jamee Moudud – Sarah Lawrence College
“A Critical Legal History of French Banking and Industrialization”
Anush Kapadia – Indian Institute of Technology
“Democratic Sovereignty Makes Money”

Commentator: Roy Kreitner, University of Tel Aviv Law School

MDM 2018: Financialization and Inequality

Over the past few decades, the advanced capitalist countries have become increasingly financialized against a backdrop of deepening wealth and income inequality. How do we conceptualize and analyze the distributive consequences of the rise of finance? What do recent political upheavals, including the Trump presidency and Brexit, mean for the status quo of financialized capitalism? And what role, if any, can public policy play in tackling the un-equalizing effects of the contemporary system of money and credit?


Mark Blyth – Brown University
Gerald Epstein – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Rana Foroohar – Financial Times
Natascha van der Zwan – Leiden University
Rebecca Spang – Indiana University

Commentator: Sandy Brian Hager – City, University of London