Economics Advisory offers advisory, speaking, seminars and analysis on international monetary affairs and emerging markets capital markets with a focus on crypto-instruments and blockchain-based monetary applications, the IMF, history of the international monetary system and emerging markets currencies and capital markets developments.
30 March 2020
The covid-19 induced crisis has revealed the difficulties of the rest of the world to obtain liquidity in dollars when needed. Dollars are the most important monies and used extensively in international transactions. When dollars dry up there is a risk of severe financial disruptions. Non-residents are particularly affected amid the lack of an external contingency mechanisms. Siloed access has complicated distribution of dollars. The extension of the Federal Reserve swap lines may heighten the dollar liquidity divide. [...]
20 March 2020
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is meant to help in times of financial distress. The covid-19-induced crisis has brought forward calls for the IMF to mobilise new resources to support a tormented international economy. In response to the global economic and financial crisis, the IMF made an allocation of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). SDRs are viewed as an effective way to increase international liquidity. However, existing provisions for SDR allocations and more importantly the fact that countries do not use SDRs seem to make this a futile approach. The SDR would have to change significantly to serve as a meaningful response to a crisis. [...]
Prepared remarks, Workshop on regulatory issues of stablecoins, Financial Stability Board (FSB)
Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore, 6 February 2020
[...] The topic of how to regulate private currencies is a critical and timely one. Not because there is a meaningful proliferation of private currencies as yet but greater regulatory clarity would help guide an orderly development of the sector. Libra has brought consideration for private currencies into the mainstream. The economic case for private currencies seems to be a strong one. Private currencies may resolve long-held monetary problems official currencies have failed to address. Successful private currencies are therefore most likely just a matter of time. I shall divide my brief remarks into: What are private currencies, why they may make sense and how to regulate them. [...]
Remarks delivered at Blockchain Centre, Distributed Finance Roundtable
Vilnius, 25 November 2019
[... ] I was asked to focus today on Accenture's recent publication the (R)evolution of Money 2 and in particular on the notion of broadening access to central bank money and its potential effect on financial markets developments. My argument shall rest on the assumption that more equitable access to central bank money would support more diversified, resilient and deeper financial markets helping in particular start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises to raise needed resources. I will claim that the best solution to offer broader access to central bank money while fostering innovation and preserving the existing banking infrastructure is a central bank digital currency in token format. [...]
World Economic Forum Conference
OECD, Paris, 22 October 2019
[...] Libra serves as a reminder that the case for international currencies is a strong one. The euro remains the most important contemporary regional currency. The SDR may have been the most ambitious though failed attempt to establish an international currency. My remarks will focus on the SDR to draw some possible lessons for libra or any other international currency project. While creating an international currency is relatively simple, making it work in practice is complicated. The SDR has faltered in large part because the governance structure guiding its design and issuance was inadequate. [...]
Bank of Spain, Madrid, 10-11 September 2019
[...] Central bank money has not seen much change since the proliferation of paper currencies during the nineteenth century. CBDC now promises to bring needed innovation to central bank money. At the same time, central banks have a historical opportunity to set new standards for digital currencies. [...]
27 August 2019
Facebook's libra has reinvigorated the idea of a global currency and use of a currency basket for its valuation. The SDR shared similar ambitions and can serve as useful background to assess possible challenges and difficulties of designing an international currency. The SDR is not the outcome of a singular vision but rather the campaign of competing views among IMF member countries. Shifting country influences at the IMF may in the near future offer the possibility of a new direction for the SDR. The present paper provides a unique appraisal of the evolution of IMF views about objective and role of the SDR [...]
25 August 2019
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, at his Jackson Hole address of 23 August 2019, outlined the idea of a synthetic hegemonic currency to be based on a basket of national currencies and issued by a network of central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Such synthetic currency is meant to offer a new international settlement medium and especially act as an alternative to the persistent dominance of the dollar addressing long-held grievances in the international monetary system. Financial technology could become the new determinant of monetary and in particular international monetary relations. [...]
17 August 2019
The People's Bank of China (PBoC) reiterated that it is 'almost'ready to launch a central bank digital currency confirming that central bank money is in for major upgrades. It is in line with earlier announcements by Facebook, JP Morgan, Walmart that digital currencies are on the rise. The intent to offer a digital renminbi will likely serve to recalibrate if not change fundamentally national and international payments relations. By equipping the renminbi with new functionalities and utilities, it is likely to be a key part of China's long-held ambition of renminbi internationalisation. [...]
11 July 2019
Accenture released a new paper on central bank digital currencies (CBDC). CBDC is seen as an essential evolution of central bank money against the new requirements of increasing digitalisation, internationalisation and automation of payments. Central bank money is adjusting to stay future-proof. CBDC is a different format of central bank money and forms integral part of the monetary base. The innovation rests in CBDC being blockchain-enabled or tokenised money. CBDC is about greater diversification of the payments infrastructure, resilience and offering choice of using central bank money. It is an enabler of change and to establish a level playing field between conventional and new payment systems. Central banks face a historic opportunity to set a new standard for money. [...]
London School of Economics and Political Science, Institute of Global Affairs
19 June 2019
The success of digital currencies will likely depend on whether they can offer something existing currencies cannot. While the notion of digital currencies seems relatively novel, many have expanded on old monetary ideas for a winning formula. Economic history suggests that new currencies emerged largely in response to expanding settlement media and offering complementary usability. The paper reviews parallels between past monetary innovations and digital currencies including flexibility for paper currencies afforded by the gold standard and its international aspiration, the relevance of early international currencies like the eighteenth century Maria Theresa thaler, regional parallel currencies like the nineteenth century Vereinsmünzen and the SDR as an international asset. The paper aims to illustrate that looking at monetary history, the new currencies may be less controversial and the case for such currencies stronger than generally perceived.[...]
Strategic advisory work on monetary innovation, crypto-instruments and blockchain-based monetary applications and the international monetary system with a focus on public policies and the financial public sector.
Custom-made seminars on international monetary affairs and monetary history including on crypto-currencies, the International Monetary Fund, the gold standard, the Euro Area, emerging markets currencies. Seminars can be arranged in various formats including working dinners, classes, lectures, interviews.
Event and keynote addresses and panel discussions on crypto-instruments 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
International economics and monetary analysis and opinion
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 developments. He is a Senior Advisor with Accenture in its Global Blockchain Technology Practice working with clients on digital currencies 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 Institute of Global Affairs 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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