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.
World Economic Forum Conference
Paris, 22 October 2019, hosted by the OECD
[...] 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. [...]
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.[...]
Bretton Woods Committee blog post to the Bretton Woods@75 initiative
27 April 2019
Financial technology seems set to have a major impact on monetary relations. Several central banks are contemplating to offer central bank issued digital currencies (CBDC) as a medium of exchange for blockchain-enabled or token-based financial ecosystems. CBDC offers properties that could make the use of central bank money significantly easier in particular in cross-border but also off-shore transactions. It could transform the attractiveness of using CBDC relative to conventional currencies and thus alter the propensity to hold central bank money by non-residents. CBDC may therefore help address one the long held grievances about the international monetary system, namely the dependence on a very narrow set of currencies to conduct and settle international transactions and contribute to needed diversification in the international monetary system.
UBS and RBWC Conference-Managing the soft landing of the global economy
Washington, D.C., 12 April 2019
[...] I will focus on an idea that was advanced by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in 2017, namely to offer a digital SDR. Yesterday, at the IMF Seminar Money and Payments in the Digital Age, Lagarde asked if a digital SDR would be possible and one discussant responded that it could become functional within 12 to 24 months. At Accenture, I'm working on a number of projects and proposals that involve digitalising or tokenising central bank money. Hence, a tokenised SDR seems very much in line with an incipient new openness to give considerations to tokenising national currencies. But given the difficulties of amending the existing SDR, a new approach is needed. [...]
7 April 2019
The recent emergence of private digital currencies, like bitcoin, has been met with considerable criticism. Yet, recent rumours that a large social network may issue a digital currency seem to affirm that new types of currencies are in demand. A social network digital coin could propel the notion of private currencies to new levels. Economic theory seems supportive of the idea. Adoption of a social network coin would rest in large part on whether a social network would constitute an optimum currency area. If so, it could change the very architecture of money. [...]
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
Central bank digital currencies and a new currency architectureInterview, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, 8 July 2019
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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