Economics Advisory offers advisory, speaking, seminars and analysis on international monetary affairs and emerging markets capital markets with a focus on digital currencies and blockchain-based monetary and financial applications, the IMF, history of the international monetary system and emerging markets currencies and capital markets developments.
LSE Business Review, 17 May 2021
Central bank digital currencies (CBDC) have seen a significant increase in interest. But what contribution are they expected to make and what concerns could delay or prevent their introduction? The innovation with CBDC is the adoption of digital tokens as a new format of money akin to a digital bearer instrument to enable peer-to-peer transactions irrespective of space and time. It would be the same euro, peso, rand or won only in another representation. The use case for CBDC is naturally strongest where central bank money plays a special role and where existing arrangements impose undue limitations. This is the case especially in international payments. [...]
15 May 2021
The decision of the Diem Association, formerly Libra Association, to retreat from Switzerland seems to further affirm a scaling back of its original objective of offering global digital coins. However, it should not lead to the conclusion that private digital payment mediums do not have a role. The limitation of national currencies is that they are national in scope. Private currencies are meant to denationalise currencies and they can. [...]
18 April 2021
Robert Mundell, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, passed away on 4 April 2021. Of his many critical contributions, one of his most famous is the optimum currency area theory where he argues basically that national currencies are not optimal and that currency areas should not be defined by political but by economic boundaries. The emergence of bitcoin and other private currencies seems to affirm that currency areas could be formed irrespective of countries. This has attracted some incipient comments to explain the advantages of private currencies and as an extension of currency competition. Mundell's theory, reviewed here only in its broadest terms, may offer a robust framework to explain why the proliferation of private currencies would be rational. [...]
UBS and Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee conference
IMF 2021 Spring Meetings 6-8 April 2021
Prepared remarks, 8 April 2021
[...] CBDC will, I believe, have its greatest impact on international payments. International payments represent among the most urgent payment problems with broad-based implications for the distribution of international liquidity, capacity to conduct international transactions and scope for international economic integration. CBDC is set to produce two key outcomes: It will endow national currencies with new functionalities and utility; it will likely support the role of national currencies in international payments. CBDC may therefore alter the relative attractiveness of currencies and help recalibrate international payments relations and strengthen the international monetary system.
LSE School of Public Policy, Dean's Dialogue
Prepared remarks, 31 March 2021
[...] I wanted to speak about the IMF and debate whether the IMF has done enough during the pandemic. With the IMF Spring Meetings on 5-11 April, there will probably be some debate about the role of the IMF and in particular whether the IMF should be given more resources. The IMF Board also held an informal meeting on the case for pushing for Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation of about US$650 billion. I argue that while the IMF matters greatly, before increasing IMF resources and issuing more SDRs, there should be sufficient confidence that the IMF can deploy its resources and that SDRs are actually being used. Prima facie evidence suggests that neither is the case.
28 February 2021
The most severe economic crisis since the Depression should have been a moment for the IMF to shine. While the fund has approved a large number of borrowing arrangements since the start of the pandemic, these have amounted to less than 10 per cent of its $1tn resources. This is despite the fund saying that it has “substantial space” in its lending capacity and is “ready to help even more”. It begs the question, does the IMF provide help no one wants any more? [...]
R3 CBDC online workshop series, 22 July-19 November 2020
Prepared remarks, 19 November 2020
[...] The topic of sovereignty may be surprising to some. For most, using the national currency to conduct payments seems the natural thing to do. Most monetary assets and liabilities are normally denominated in the national currency. There are of course important exceptions e.g. in countries with a high level of currency substitution or dollarization. The possibility that private currencies or settlement mediums compete with national currencies may therefore seems strange. But it could be the new normal when it comes to currencies. [...]
Strategic advisory work on monetary innovation, central bank digital currencies (CBDC), private digital currencies, and other blockchain-based financial and monetary applications with a focus on public policies and the financial public sector.
Organisation of seminars on international monetary affairs and monetary history including on CBDC, crypto-currencies, the International Monetary Fund. Seminars can be arranged in various formats including general public, working dinners, classes, lectures, interviews.
LSE CBDC webinar: International and domestic challenges
22-23 April 2021
Event and keynote addresses and panel discussions on digital currencies and international monetary themes.
Bretton Woods @70: Past, present and future
US Korea Institute at SAIS and Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee, Washington, D.C., 9 October 2014
Central banking and creating a stable value digital currency
Dialogue of Continents, Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee and Hamburg Institute of International Economics, Paris, 5 September 2018
The exorbitant privilege and the international monetary system
Presentation to a leading U.S. investment firm, New York, NY, 28 September 2018
Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee webinar: The world economy transformed
17 April 2020
Two key publications by the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committeeon international monetary affairs are now available on Amazon:
Economics Advisory Ltd. is a London-based private limited company registered in England and Wales.
Ousmène Jacques Mandeng, Director, Economics Advisory Ltd, has worked more than 20 years in the financial sector and international organisations on international investment and economic policy analyses and now focuses on the linkages between financial innovation and monetary and payments innovations. He is a Senior Advisor with Accenture in its Blockchain and Multiparty Systems Practice working globally on digital currency solutions.
Ousmène was a Managing Director at Prudential Financial and UBS Investment Bank leading coverage of official financial institutions globally. He worked at the International Monetary Fund, last as Deputy Division Chief coordinating work on IMF lending policies and use of IMF resources and on Latin America including as a Resident Representative. He has commented periodically in the financial press and presented in leading international forums on the international monetary system and emerging markets capital markets developments.
He is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Fellow of the Reinvention Bretton Woods Committee and a Member of the Bretton Woods Committee and of Robert Triffin International. He is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish. He holds an MPhil in economics from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in economic history from the LSE.
All views expressed in this blog are those of Economics Advisory and not necessarily those of Accenture or other clients.
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