Welcome to New Currency Theory and Sovereign Money
What is Sovereign Money?
Sovereign money is legal tender issued by a monetary authority, in Europe by a nation-state's independent central bank, or the ECB. The counterpart to sovereign money is commercial bankmoney, i.e. demand deposits on current bank account.
Bankmoney is created whenever a bank grants a loan, or overdraft, or buys stocks and bonds or real estate, and pays for this by crediting the customers' or sellers' accounts. These credits need to be backed by sovereign central-bank money, but just to a residual 2.5 per cent.
What would a sovereign money system look like?
If today's fractional reserve system cannot be said to be sovereign, what then would a sovereign money system look like?
An advanced modern sovereign-money system would be based upon all of the three components of a state's monetary prerogative:
1. Determining a country's standard currency unit
2. Issuing the money denominated in that unit
3. Realising for the public purse the profit which accrues from creating new money.
Currency and Banking Teachings
Currency versus banking teachings represent a frame of reference of lasting relevance to modern money systems.
The expression New Currency Theory (NCT) makes reference to the historical Currency School of the first half of the 19th century. It was opposed by the Banking School of the time.
Most economists seem to have forgotten about this controversy. At the same time, most monetary reform initiatives today in fact stand for new currency teachings...
How to deal with the euro?
Quite some people are wondering whether monetary reform can be implemented within the eurosystem, or whether the euro is an impediment to monetary reform; or whether individual countries could go it alone, or would have to leave the euro for being able to do so; or whether sovereign digital euros could be issued even within the eurosystem? As usual, the situation within the EU and the eurosystem is rather patchy.
Read more >
Neo-Austrians between Gold Standard, 100% Reserve, and Free Banking
The Neo-Austrian School and New Currency Theory share a similar criticism of fractional reserve banking. Strangely enough, Neo-Austrians blame the problem on government and central banks rather than the banking industry.
The Neo-Austrian idea of money and banking reform then is free banking, i.e. a system without legal-tender laws and central banks, on the basis of a return to a 100% gold reserve. This appears to be quixotic, but is a revelation to others.
Here are > Notes on the occasion of reading Huerta de Soto, a main proponent of the Neo-Austrian School.
Sovereign Money in Critical Context
As sovereign-money reform has been gaining attention, more economists from various schools of thought have felt called upon to comment on it - mainstream commentators, Neoaustrians, demand-side Keynesians, and others. This provides an opportunity for clearing up misrepresentations of sovereign money. Continue >
The euro - Whence it came, where it goes
The euro was expected to catalyse 'ever deeper union' among its member states. Instead, the euro has been captured by bad financial habits of old and has put the euro north and south in fierce neonationalist confrontation with each other. The currency union is now at the crossroads between either getting stuck in the mud of an ever deeper joint liability community bound to continual decline or a reset of the euro and realignment of the Eurosystem based on a return to the no-bailout rule and national responsibility for national debt. Continue>
Why central banks perform worse than they could
Central banks are nowadays portrayed as the most mighty and powerful institutions, controlling the banking industry and exerting tremendous influence on financial markets and the economy beyond. Central banks themselves are keen to leave no doubt about their being in control of the situation. In actual fact, the decisive monetary power is with the banks. Here is an article that tries to sketch out what central banks actually can do and what they cannot.
> Read > download PDF
The Chicago Plan and a Single-Circuit Sovereign-Money System
In dealing with monetary reform, a recollection of older concepts is quite natural. Most prominent are approaches to a 100%-reserve of the 1930s, among them the original Chicago Plan. There is now a tendency to identify this plan with the up-to-date approach to plain sovereign money as championed by most contemporary reform initiatives. Is the Chicago Plan the same as plain sovereign money? Or is this about two different systems?
Continue > Download PDF >
Modern Money Theory and Circuitism in comparison to New Currency Theory
New Currency Theory NCT and Modern Money Theory MMT as well as Circuitism share a number of views on how the present regime of bank money (fractional reserve banking) actually works.
It turns out, however, that MMT - in spite of its claim to stand for a sovereign-currency system - is closer to representing new banking doctrine rather than currency teaching. > Continue
Something similar must be said on the monetary theory and circuit model of Circuitism, another offspring of Postkeynesianism, even though Circuitism is more critical about the 'power of banks'. > Continue
"For the government to permit banks to issue money, borrow that money, and pay interest on it is idiotic." - William F. Hixson
"Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation's laws. ... Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile."
Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister 1935-1948.
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Greenspan's amazing testimony. Better late than never. The key passage starts at about min. 5.