Roundtables on central banks and monetary policy 2022 (online events)

Organisers: 

Rodrigo Fernandez, Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
Sara Murawski, The Transnational Institute (TNI)
Leonardo Pataccini, Trinity College Dublin / University of Latvia
Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin

For more information on these events: contact Martin Sokol.

These roundtable sessions focus on the most pressing issues related to central banking and monetary policy in contemporary financialized capitalism. The roundtables bring together experts and critical thinkers including scholars and civil society organizations that work on one or more of the following issues:
• Unconventional monetary policy/QE and wealth inequality
• Central banks, democratic deficit and accountability
• Monetary policy and green transition
• Monetary policy, subordinate financialization and core-periphery relations
• Monetary policy and spatial inequality
The aim is to encourage a dialogue between experts in these critical areas and to explore how synergies between different approaches can be achieved.

Theme 1: The monetary future of Europe
How should the European financial infrastructure and monetary policy (in the eurozone and beyond) be re-designed to promote more balanced development between the core and its peripheries (including the East-Central European periphery)? How can this be done to simultaneously support the green transition, social justice and democratic accountability of monetary policy in Europe?

Theme 2: The future of central banking and the global political economy

What a future central banking and international monetary architecture should look like to ensure global financial stability, to promote social & climate justice and to support balanced economic development at the global scale? What are the interlinkages between subordinate financialization and monetary policy?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Roundtable 1: 15th June 2022.   Notes from session

Participants: Uuree Batsaikhan, Marc Beckmann, Sara Bencekovic,  Nina Eichacker, Rodrigo Fernandez, Clement Fontan, Katie Kedward, Sara Murawski, Leonardo Pataccini, Martin Sokol, Jens Van ‘T Klooster.

 

Roundtable 2: 17th June 2022   Notes from session

Participants:  Andrea Bindder, Anina Kalten Brrunner, Leah Downey, Katie Edward, Nina Eichacker, Roderigo Fermandez, Kardelen Gunaydin, Sara Murawski, Fathimath Musthaq, Leonardo Pataccini, Emily Rosenmann, Martin Sokol, Jennie Stephens.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Background:

The 2008 global financial crisis transformed leading central banks in the Global North into the ‘masters of the universe’. This dominant position in the global financial system was strengthened further by the monetary interventions initiated during the early period of the Covid-19 shock. Presently, the evolving repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine further highlight the need to examine the international monetary system.

Interventions by leading central banks at times of crises, while stabilizing the system temporarily, come at an enormous cost. Quantitative Easing (QE), for example, has inflated asset prices, including real estate, fueling a rise in wealth inequality not seen since the gilded age. The increase in cross-border financial flows, pushed by QE in the Global North, further solidified the subordinate position of emerging economies in the Global South and deepened uneven development at various spatial scales. The after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to strengthen these trends and, in doing so, increase the probability of further crises in the near future.

Another crucial set of questions relate to the potential for the greening of the financial system by monetary policy in the face of the climate crisis. Academics and civil society organizations have been successful in formulating caveats and alternatives to the one-dimensional ESG focus pushed forward by the financial services industry, but central banks are slow to bring in radical changes needed to avert the climate disaster. In fact, recent research suggests that the alleged ‘market neutrality’ of QE policies has increased climate change risks.

Related to all the above issues is the question of legitimacy and democratic oversight. While central banks have assumed a center role in the management of contemporary financialised capitalism, including acting as key geo-political agents, they remain largely insulated from democratic decision-making structures.

The proposed Roundtables are designed to facilitate focused discussion on the above set of issues. In particular we are interested in how these different questions and struggles can complement each other and what this means for the future of central banking and the financial architecture more broadly. What would/could/should a blueprint for a democratic, socially just, spatially balanced, and environmentally sustainable central banking of the future look like? How can central banks best position themselves to become the responsible and accountable agents of positive change and transformation? How can a positive change be achieved at the European level and what needs to be done at the global level ?