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.
26 October 2020
The debate around central bank digital currencies (CBDC) has received a significant boost during the past few weeks. Two issues now seem to dominate: CBDC as an instrument to improve international payments; CBDC as a vehicle to advance the international role of national currencies. The former came to the fore during the IMF Annual Meetings last week elevating CBDC to the core of international economic policy-making. The latter was reaffirmed with the ECB report on a digital euro . CBDC is now set to have significant implications for international payments and for that matter for the financial system as a whole. It is part of a broader debate about greater diversification in payments by mediums, actors and geography. [...]
11 October 2020
The IMF Annual Meetings kick off virtually this week with one key trending topic seemingly missing: What is the impact of central bank digital currencies (CBDC)? For the biggest gathering of central bankers, this seems odd. Most are actively exploring CBDC and it is hotly debated elsewhere. Also Covid-19 has served as a reminder that international monetary relations remain dysfunctional in many respects possibly undermining a sustained recovery of the world economy. Only the previous week, the ECB in a report on a digital euro proposes a fundamental change about access to central bank money that would enable international transactions to be settled in central bank money possibly greatly facilitating international exchange. It is aimed at making the euro a leading international currency. The IMF, guardian of international monetary relations, needs to take note. [...]
Prepared and amended introductory remarks, UBS Reserve Management Seminar, panel Digital currencies: technological innovation in global payment systems and central banks, 30 Sep 2020
30 September 2020
[…] Accenture is involved in a number of CBDC projects, including with the Riksbank in the development for a technical solution for an e-krona as a retail CBDC, a series of CBDC experiments with the Banque de France to test different wholesale CBDC applications including in an international setting and supports the Digital Dollar Project to stimulate a public discussion about the case for a CBDC in the U.S. Several central banks consider introduction of a CBDC in earnest. I have no doubt CBDC will come soon. Covid-19 may also have accelerated that.[...]
Prepared for R3 CBDC webinar Building CBDC: The race to reality
22 July 2020
Financial inclusion remains a major challenge in particular in low income countries. Central bank digital currencies (CBDC) have often been associated with a new approach to facilitating financial inclusion. However, digital central bank money for low value high volume transactions does not seem essential and many alternatives exist as suggested by the increase of digital payment means in many countries. Kenya is a leader for mobile payments and has seen a significant rise in the adoption of financial accounts associated with M-Pesa. On that basis, the case for CBDC for financial inclusion seems weak. [...]
Prepared remarks for G-24 Virtual Roundtable Discussion on "Options to Enhance the Role of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the Global Reserve System"
1 July 2020
The covid-19- induced crisis has reinvigorated calls for the IMF to mobilise more resources. Many IMF members want this to include another SDR allocation. I share the urgency of raising additional resources but I'm sceptical as to the utility of another SDR allocation in large part due to the fact that the value of SDRs used is simply very small. The risk is that a lot of scarce political capital will be spent with little if any practical effect. I will therefore focus on what changes are needed to make the SDR more attractive as a reserve asset and will argue that those should have priority over or at least accompany any new allocations. [...]
25 June 2020
The U.S. dollar remains the dominant international currency. But is it really international? The dollar is the national currency of the U.S. and the availability of dollars is firmly determined by monetary conditions in the U.S. The rest of the world uses dollar funding but has no say in its issuance. It means that when the rest of the world needs more dollars it may not be able to get them. This problem has for some time been recognised but remains unsolved. Greater diversification in international payments would be the best answer. Both the Euro Area and China are taking aim. Private currencies could also offer a viable alternative. [...]
Paper presented at the Technology and Finance Seminar, Swiss National Bank
2 June 2020
The foreign exchange market is the largest financial market and would likely be among the main beneficiaries of central bank digital currencies (CBDC). CBDC would facilitate instant payment versus payment transactions in central bank money and greatly mitigate settlement risks, offer new business models for foreign exchange and supersede existing arrangements for trading and settlement. It could enable and advance a more effective distribution of central bank liquidity including in international settings and reduce financial risks globally. CBDC may lower annual costs related to foreign exchange settlement by an estimated US$130 billion. The present paper provides a preliminary high level discussion of the possible implications of instant and atomic settlement in foreign exchange transactions using central bank money. [...]
22 May 2020
The announcement of 14 May of Singapore's Temasek joining the Libra Association may signal that private currencies could benefit from weakened official actors. The expected permanent adverse impact of the covid-19 induced economic crises in particular on official solvency will raise questions about trust and stability of official currencies. Like other severe economic crises in the past, covid-19 may lead to a rethink of currency arrangements. Temasek may just have revealed that this should involve private currencies. [...]
5 May 2020
The covid-19 crisis has revealed significant deficiencies in the effective distribution of central bank liquidity both domestically and internationally. Central banks are looking towards central bank digital currencies (CBDC) to improve functionality and utility of central bank money. CBDC is about recalibrating the attractiveness of monies and will likely redefine scope and reach of central banks in financial transactions. [...]
16 April 2020
The debate about how best to increase resources for external financial assistance to countries has been accompanying every global financial crisis. With covid-19, the IMF is again under pressure as its firepower is not deemed sufficient to meaningfully instil confidence that a credible global backstop is available. So far the IMF's measures seem too conventional and timid. Recent suggestions that a considerable allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) would do the trick may overestimate the role of SDRs and underestimate the efforts required for a meaningful allocation. More diversified and flexible mechanisms need to be found. New IMF borrowing ought to be part of the discussion both from central banks and as a novel approach from financial markets. [...]
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
Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee webinar: The world economy transformed
17 April 2020
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 innovations. He is a Senior Advisor with Accenture and Lead of Economic and Financial Strategy in its Blockchain and Multiparty Systems Practice working with clients 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 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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