Current Scholarship
Senate Testimony of Katharina Pistor, Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System

Author: Katharina Pistor

In this testimony before Congress' Committee on Financial Services, Katharina Pistor examines Facebook’s proposed global cryptocurrency, Libra.
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Senate Testimony of Katharina Pistor, Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System

Current Scholarship
The Democratic Digital Dollar: A Digital Savings & Payments Platform for Fully Inclusive State, Local, and National Money & Banking Systems

Author: Robert Hockett

Many national and subnational units of government see a need for more inclusive money, payment, and retail banking systems for the capture, storage, and transfer of spendable value among their constituents.
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The Democratic Digital Dollar: A Digital Savings & Payments Platform for Fully Inclusive State, Local, and National Money & Banking Systems

Current Scholarship
Senate Testimony of Mehrsa Baradaran on Cryptocurrency & Financial Inclusion

Author: Mehrsa Baradaran

In this testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs, Mehrsa Baradaran provides perspective on the cryptocurrency industry’s ambitions with regard to financial inclusion for low income Americas as well as its place in the banking regulatory landscape.
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Senate Testimony of Mehrsa Baradaran on Cryptocurrency & Financial Inclusion

Current Scholarship
Banks are not intermediaries of loanable funds – facts, theory and evidence

Authors: Zoltan Jakab and Michael Kumhof

In the loanable funds model, banks are modelled as resource-trading intermediaries that receive deposits of physical resources from savers before lending them to borrowers. In the financing model, banks are modelled as financial intermediaries whose loans are funded by ex-nihilo creation of ledger-entry deposits that facilitate payments among nonbanks. The financing model predicts larger and faster changes in bank lending and greater real effects of financial shocks.
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Banks are not intermediaries of loanable funds – facts, theory and evidence

Current Scholarship
State Building for a Free Market: The Great Depression and the Rise of Monetary Orthodoxy

Author: David M. P. Freund

The U.S. government transformed American finance between 1913 and 1935 by assuming extraordinary new powers over the banking sector and the money supply. And the government’s actions were reliably controversial. Beginning soon after the Federal Reserve began operations and lasting through the reforms that restructured the institution during the New Deal, critics warned that federal overreach in financial markets posed an existential threat to the free-enterprise system.
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State Building for a Free Market: The Great Depression and the Rise of Monetary Orthodoxy

Current Scholarship
Money and modernization in early modern England

Author: Nuno Palma

Classic accounts of the English industrial revolution present a long period of stagnation followed by a fast take-off. However, recent findings of slow but steady per capita economic growth suggest that this is a historically inaccurate portrait of early modern England. This growth pattern was in part driven by specialization and structural change accompanied by an increase in market participation at both the intensive and extensive levels. These, I argue, were supported by the gradual increase in money supply made possible by the importation of precious metals from America. They enabled a substantial increase in the monetization and liquidity levels of the economy, hence decreasing transaction costs, increasing market thickness, changing the relative incentive for participating in the market and allowing agglomeration economies to arise. By making trade with Asia possible, precious metals also induced demand for new desirable goods, which in turn encouraged market participation. Finally, the increased monetization and market participation made tax collection easier. This helped the government to build up fiscal capacity and as a consequence to provide for public goods. The structural change and increased market participation that ensued paved the way for modernization.
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Money and modernization in early modern England

Current Scholarship
Are Bank Fiduciaries Special?

Author: Robert Hockett

A growing body of post-crisis legal and economic literature suggests that future financial crises might be averted by tinkering with the internal governance structures of banks and other financial institutions. In particular, contributors to this literature propose tightening the fiduciary duties under which officers and directors of the relevant financial institutions labor. I argue in this symposium article that such proposals are doomed to failure under all circumstances save one - namely, that under which the relevant financial institutions are in whole or in part treated as publicly owned. The argument proceeds in two parts. I first show that the financial dysfunctions that culminate in financial crises are not primarily the products of defects in individual rationality or morality, ubiquitous as such defects of course always are. Rather, I argue, fragility in the financial markets stems from what I elsewhere dub recursive collective action problems, pursuant to which multiple acts of individual rationality aggregate into instances of collective calamity. This form of vulnerability is endemic to banking and financial markets. I next show that the best understanding of fiduciary obligation is that pursuant to which she who is subject to the obligation minimizes the 'space,' or separateness, that subsists between her and the beneficiary of her obligation.
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Are Bank Fiduciaries Special?

Current Scholarship
John Law’s Capitalist Violence

Author: Joan DeJean

The year 2019 marks a milestone in the history of finance and of capitalism: the three hundredth anniversary of John Law's spectacular take-over of France's economy. Between December 1718 and December 1719, Law established the first national bank in French history, the Banque Royale or Royal Bank, as well as Paris' original stock exchange, on the rue Quincampoix. At the same time, Philippe d'Orléans, the Regent governing France during Louis XV's minority, fused several older trading companies in order to create a giant conglomerate known as the Indies Company that enjoyed an absolute monopoly over the country's overseas trade. The Regent gave Law control first over the newly powerful Indies Company, then over the Royal Mint, and in the end over the regulation of all government finance and expenditure. Finally, also in 1719, Law introduced the French to two financial instruments with which they had had no prior experience: paper money and publicly traded stock in the form of shares in the new Indies Company. One man controlled the most important economy in Europe.
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John Law’s Capitalist Violence

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

Current Scholarship
Between the ‘Bank Screw’ and ‘Affording Assistance’: Rules, Standards and the Bank Charter Act of 1844

Author: Iain Frame
This article explores a dilemma at the centre of the monetary order: how to counter inflation eroding the value of money and simultaneously allow bank‐created credit to meet the needs of an expanding economy. Building on…
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Between the ‘Bank Screw’ and ‘Affording Assistance’: Rules, Standards and the Bank Charter Act of 1844