Monetary Sovereigns, Monetary Subjects and Monetary Vassals: A Spectrum Approach to Monetary Sovereignty and Our Dollar World

UWE Bristol

Room 4X113, Business School (X Block), Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Ln, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS16 1QY
4 Jun 2018 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Nathan Tankus, Modern Money Network

In typical approaches to money, both the property of being “money” and having “monetary sovereignty” is treated as an “either/or” proposition; You either got it or you don’t. Over the last few decades the heterodox approach of “moneyness” has gained ground. Essential to the “moneyness” view is that money is a social and legal property of various financial instruments and exists in degrees. Thus, there is a hierarchy of moneyness. The corollary to this, that there is a spectrum of monetary sovereignty and it is misleading to speak of countries either “having” or “not having” monetary sovereignty, has not been nearly as richly developed. In this view there is not just monetary sovereigns and monetary subjects but also the potential for monetary vassalage and monetary tributaries. The policy problem for countries that want to protect or advance their monetary sovereignty in a hierarchical world is how to discourage domestic monetary subjects from becoming monetary vassals i.e. discourage the accumulation of foreign denominated debts. This is made more difficult by the geopolitical constraints that come in tandem with a world of currency hierarchies. This talk will focus in on both the possibilities and limits that a spectrum of monetary sovereignty approach highlights.

 Nathan Tankus is currently a student at John Jay School of Criminal Justice and a research scholar with the Modern Money Network. He has been a research assistant at the University of Ottawa and a visiting researcher at the Fields Institute. His current research interests include the history of economic thought, economic history, financial instability and crises, the evolution of monetary systems, public and private planning, balance of payments economics, the economics of accounting, real estate political economy among many others. He is on Twitter, and has written for Naked Capitalism, Institute for New Economic Thinking and JSTOR Daily.


Free to attend and open to all.