CME Special Issue: A Future World Monetary Order
MONDAY, 27 November 2023: The Center for Market Education (CME) is excited to announce the publication of the first EduPaper Special Issue entitled “A Future World Monetary Order: A Debate on Lawrence H. White’s ‘Better Money: Gold, Fiat, or Bitcoin?’”, edited by CME Associate, Emile Phaneuf III.
«The publication is extremely timely», commented Emile Phaneuf, who added: «we are living in a period of monetary turbulence, as is testified by the current weakness of the ringgit, dollarization announced by the newly-elected Argentinian President, the seizure of Russian and Afghan sovereign reserves, as well as threats from BRICS nations to move away from the US dollar for international trade. We are happy to contribute to the debate by suggesting that a sounder monetary order can arise only by pointing in the direction currency competition».
«Countries within the ASEAN community should remove any restrictions on the free use of any currency used within their territories. In a free currency system, people will refuse to use the national currency if it depreciates and therefore competition would push in the direction of value-stable currencies. This is the only way for a strong currency to emerge and to benefit citizens», Dr Carmelo Ferlito, CME CEO, added.
This informative EduPaper is a call to action for governments around the world to embrace competition in currency. This objective has in mind both a humanitarian component as well as one that holds the potential to bring about a great deal of economic growth. Allowing for various monetary projects to take place means both allowing unrestricted use of foreign currencies to be used within a nation’s own borders as well as allowing the private sector to experiment with various financial instruments. Such a policy framework would force the state to harness destructive inflation for its own national currency as well as reduce uncertainty in order to better serve market participants.
This “competition in currency” approach entails restraining the state from imposing both outright bans as well as various regulatory barriers that discourage the development and use of various currencies (and even commodities) that might compete with the state’s own fiat money. Some of these regulatory barriers include (but are not limited to):
- Taxes (usually in the form of capital gains) applied when competing currencies are spent or sold;
- Disallowing taxes to be settled in any other than the state’s own currency;
- Active involvement (by the central bank or other government agencies) in payment processing or money conversion;
- Financial surveillance and excessive AML-CFT-KYC requirements;
- Central bank regulation that favors incumbent commercial banks;
- A push for CBDCs, which seem to be intended to crowd out private alternatives.
Further, in the essay which closes the issue, editor Emile Phaneuf III suggests the state never require merchants to accept any currency (neither the state’s own nor that of any alternative currency, commodity, etc). For example, while we consider it desirable that the citizens of El Salvador can now spend or receive payment in Bitcoin, we strongly recommend against any government in any country establishing that merchants must accept Bitcoin.
Emile and CME additionally recommend reforming central banking by gradually removing the central bank’s monopoly on currency issuance and interest rate tampering. Under the current monetary order, central banks tend to stifle competition, favoring incumbents (disfavoring potential competitors), monopolize money, inflate the various national currencies (while hurting the poor the most), and have been responsible for a massive increase in the size and scope of the state. This has been an enormous burden on the private sector, a source of income inequality and the source of economic fluctuations.
Taking the idea of competition in currency seriously, CME’s special issue includes a piece written by Lawrence H. White (George Mason University), summarizing his new book Better Money: Gold, Fiat, or Bitcoin? (Cambridge University Press, 2023). White, inspired by Nobel Laureate economist FA Hayek’s 1976 book The Denationalisation of Money, pioneered private money alternatives since back in the 1980s, “before it was cool”. White’s new book Better Money applies an economic analysis to and a comparison of a monetary gold standard, the fiat standard, as well as a Bitcoin standard.
In addition to White’s summary of his own book, CME EduPaper includes commentary and analysis (with both praise and disagreement) of Better Money by Emile Phaneuf III (the EduPaper’s editor), George Selgin (who also pioneered private money alternatives), Joakim Book, and Peter Šurda.
 Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), Know Your Customer (KYC)
About CME: The Center for Market Education (CME) is a boutique think-tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia.
As an academic and educational institution, CME aims to promote a more pluralistic and multidisciplinary approach to economics and to spread the knowledge of a sounder economics, grounded in the understanding of market forces.
In order to do so, CME is not only involved in academic initiatives, but it organizes seminars, webinars and tailor-made economics classes for students, journalists, businesspeople and professionals who wish to better understand the relevance of economics for their daily lives and activities.
Economics matters and needs to be presented in a fashion in which the link with reality is clearly visible. In this sense, we look not only at theoretical economics but also at policy making, with an emphasis on the unintended consequences generated by political actions. Visit https://marketedu.me/.