Longing for Haute Finance in the 21st Century? A Neo-Polanyian Approach to the Theory of Money in the Digital Age

Chikako Nakayama


This article examines the Libra project, which was announced by Facebook in 2019 as an important turning point in the development of digital currency since Bitcoin. Libra is a kind of stablecoin, and it has been identified as a global stablecoin owing to its wide-ranging impact on the dimension of global finance. Because the Libra project aims to offer a globally accessible low-cost payment system for all users, we analyse it in the research area of global finance with a qualitative approach to the history of economic theories of money and finance. In this area, Karl Polanyi’s thoughts on money and finance and the interpretation by Saiag, which he called a neo-Polanyian approach, deserve attention. Taking this approach, we understand that unofficial functions of haute finance played a significant role in sustaining the international and interdependent financial system in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this context, although it also saved colonized and dependent regions from falling into financial crises, it was not socially helpful for them. If Libra wants to be the haute finance of our age in the real sense of serving to bring about financial inclusion, such a point should be considered. However, for the moment, existing international monetary institutions are only keen to take regulatory measures against the risk of dirty transactions. There is a substantial lacuna of publicness in the discussion, and this needs to be filled in in the near future.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/afr.v10n4p1


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Accounting and Finance Research
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