Money is both one of the great intellectual puzzles and practical problems of the modern world. Taken at face value it appears to be one of the most basic and important expressions of state sovereignty. It defines the boundaries of national economies and their interrelationships. Printing and coining money is a closely guarded privilege of the state. And yet at moments of crisis we discover and rediscover the disconcerting fact that purchasing power in the most important currencies of the world is in fact generated in oceanic quantities beyond the boundaries of the states to which it belongs, by actors that are not the state. We live, in fact, in a world of global money. Learning how to think this radical fact is an urgent challenge, one which must by necessity be global in scope and involve both academics and the practitioners who are in the business of operating and innovating the global monetary system.
The Great Recession of 2008 has led to new efforts to understand the financial structures of the global economy. This research project, led by Professors Adam Tooze and Perry G. Mehrling, began with a public Global Think-in on April 25, 2016 which looked at Global Money: Past, Present, Future.