Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Blueprint for Reform of the International Monetary System (2)

Jan Kregel
I am excited by Jan Kregel's proposal to create a clearing house or settlement system for world trade and payments! His proposal is for me a stimulus to explore again the possibility to set up a G24 for changing the world by focusing on this specific proposal (in my post of August 11, 2014, I suggested to form a new G24 "to change the world").

Over the past months I have discussed the idea of a new G24 with members of a larger group of 40 international experts in international finance (Fondad G40), for whom I organise a regular exchange of articles and draft papers via email. Even though I received interesting suggestions about how such a G24 could be organised, I put the initiative on hold until I would come across a stimulating proposal that might unite experts.  

Jan Kregel says in his paper, "Emerging Markets and the International Financial Architecture: A Blueprint for Reform", that Keynes'proposal for the postwar international system sought to remedy some of the same problems emerging economies are facing currently.

By eliminating national currency payments for imports and exports and setting up a clearinghouse, a mechanism would be created that settles "a balance between imports and exports over time, with any divergence from balance providing automatic financing of the debit countries by the creditor countries via a global clearinghouse automatically. Countries would receive credits or debits in a notional unit of account fixed to national currency. "

Since the notional unit of account could not be traded, bought, or sold, it would not be an international reserve currency. In Kregel's view, a global or regional clearinghouse would be a much more promising avenue for reform of the international monetary system than expanding the use of the SDR.

Kregel says that Keynes' Clearing Union is also a more realistic blueprint for reform of the international financial architecture than other proposals. And, with regard to developing countries, it "could address emerging market grievances more effectively than current approaches".

Jane D'arista
Why do I think Jan Kregel's proposal might win the hearts of, hopefully, 24 members of the Fondad G40 (and/or others)? Because some other members of the G40 have proposed exactly the same. For example, Jane D'Arista (she is a member of the G40) did so already many, many years ago. She repeated and refined her proposal in more recent years. You may like to read, for instance, her paper "The Role of the International Monetary System in Financialization" (especially pp 17-22, where she discusses the creation of a multilateral, international payments system), and "A More Balanced International Monetary System" (especially, pp 137-140).

No comments: