Money(s) and Empire: The US Dollar as Global Quasi-State Money

Scholar in Residence Lecture 1

  • Date: Jun 6, 2023
  • Time: 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Herman Mark Schwartz
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville
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Money(s) and Empire: The US Dollar as Global Quasi-State Money

Money is a creature of the state, even at the global level. The hierarchy of global moneys is embedded in a transnational empire centered on the United States. This lecture counterposes metallist and chartalist views on money, as manifested through the “North American” and “New European” approaches, and argues that all money is ultimately credit. It shows how the dollar serves as global quasi-state money and thus why US current account deficits signify power rather than weakness (the reverse is true for most other economies). The dollar’s role as global quasi-state money enables these deficits and de facto positions the Federal Reserve bank as the world’s central bank.

Recommended for preparatory reading

2019. American Hegemony: Intellectual Property Rights, Money, and Infrastructural Power. Review of International Political Economy 26 (3): 490–519. 

2018. International Money after the Crisis: What Do We Know? In Critical Junctures in Mobile Capital, edited by Jocelyn Pixley, 131–55. Cambridge University Press. 

2021. Intellectual Property Rights and the Decay of American Hegemony. In A Hegemonic Transition? Global Economic and Security Orders in the Age of Trump, edited by Welf Werner and Florian Böller, Chapter 6. Palgrave. 

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