Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our December newsletter.

We have many projects coming to completion, hence our flow of working papers and workshops over the coming weeks and months.

Rosa Lastra and team have published their first paper Legal and Economic Assessment of Central Bank Money in which they conclude that money is best interpreted as social equity. The far reaching implications will be discussed in a joint workshop with the IMF later this week. 

Fabian Schuppert and colleagues have published their final paper Towards a Normative Theory of Systemic Risk in which they explore how the complexity of modern societies generate systemic risks which raise difficult and all too often overlooked ethical questions. 

Paul Collier and David Tuckett have also contributed another working paper on Narratives as a Coordinating Device for Reversing Regional Disequilibrium. Paul and Dennis Snower are hosting a Social Macroeconomics hub workshop next Tuesday.

All of our Working Papers and Discussion Papers can be found here.

Video recordings are available here of our annual conference on Social Macroeconomics; last month’s Women in Macroeconomics event; and the recent Macroeconomics and Reality conference, co-hosted with Alex Mihailov and the University of Reading.

Just a reminder that our Complexity in Macroeconomics competition is open here. We really encourage submissions from young researchers, and please do forward the details to anyone you know who might be interested.

All information and videos of past conferences are on our homepage or can be found by clicking on the links. If you would like to join any of our events, please ask Richard at

This festive season looks very different to usual, but we wish you all safe and happy holidays.
Thank you and best wishes,


Angus Armstrong
Director, Rebuilding Macroeconomics

Please spread the word if you know friends and colleagues who would like to engage with Rebuilding Macroeconomics by forwarding this newsletter and invite them to subscribe here. You can follow all of our news through our website,, on Twitter and YouTube.


Forthcoming Events

The Legal Department of the IMF, Centre for Commercial Law Studies of Queen Mary University of London and the Rebuilding Macroeconomics will discuss their respective Working Papers: Legal Aspects of Central Bank Digital Currency: Central Bank and Monetary Law Considerations and Central Bank Money: Liability, Asset, or Equity of the Nation? The IMF paper focuses on the central bank and monetary law aspects of CBDC. It concludes that most central bank laws will require amendments to authorize the issuance of CBDC and questions whether CBDC can be legally labelled as currency. The QMUL and Rebuilding Macroeconomics paper challenges the conventional accounting and economic treatment of central bank money and concludes that it is not a liability of the central bank but best considered ‘social equity’ with far reaching consequences. 

Programme details of the Workshop can be found here.

Our Social Macroeconomics Hub hosts a one day workshop to discuss the results of a number of its research projects. Confirmed presentations include Yvan Russell, Colin Mayer, Sandra McNally, Stephen Fisher, Agata Ryterska, Steven Bosworth, Philip McCann, David Sloan Wilson, David Good and Patricia Andrews Fearon. For participation and log-in details please email

Programme details of the Workshop can be found here.

Research Competition: Complexity in Macroeconomics

A reminder of our competition for the best paper on  Complexity and Macroeconomics. By complexity we mean incorporating realistic portrayals of human action and institutions to better understand how economic systems evolve dynamically over time. We particularly welcome contributions from early career researchers. Please circulate the competition announcement as widely as possible. The T & Cs can be found here. Good luck!

All our resources are now easily accessible through our homepage, including the recordings of our past events, the final outputs of our projects, working and discussion papers.


As our research projects come to completion, we will publish the working papers on our Publications page alongside our Special Issue E-Journal publications and discussion papers.

Working Paper Series

Working Paper No. 22: Narratives as a Coordinating Device for Reversing Regional Disequilibrium
by Paul Collier and David Tuckett

Substantial differences in productivity, accompanied by growing social and political discontent, have widened across UK regions in the last 40 years, creating a dysfunctional spatial equilibrium; a coordination failure that has so far proved resistant to change. In this paper, we link such persistent regional disequilibria with current socio-psychological theories about the role of narrative in decision-making under radical uncertainty to explore how and why ideas held collectively within a social network can become the coordinating device for a range of decisions within networked communities that have extra-market effects (externalities), analogous to the role that prices play within markets.

Working Paper No. 21: Towards a Normative Theory of Systemic (Financial) Risk
by Andrew Baker, Fabian Schuppert, and Jay Cullen

Complex systems in modern societies frequently generate risks that can be felt indiscriminately across populations, raising difficult, but pressing ethical questions. In policy debates and research on systemic risk ethical questions have barely featured. This paper introduces a multi-dimensional approach to establishing ethical acceptability thresholds for systemic risk imposition, which are based on three core values: fairness, freedom, and respect. We argue that upholding these values requires establishing a collective responsibility of due care for policy makers and regulators, expressed in a protection principle (PP) based on precautionary logics and a compensation principle (CP).

Working Paper No. 20: Central Bank Money: Liability, Asset, or Equity of the Nation?
by Michael Kumhof, Jason Allen, Will Bateman, Rosa Lastra, Simon Gleeson, Saule Omarova

Based on legal arguments, we advocate a conceptual and normative shift in our understanding of the economic character of central bank money (CBM). Based on comparisons across a number of legal characteristics of financial instruments, we suggest that an appropriate characterization of CBM is as ‘social equity’ that confers rights of participation in the economy’s payment system and thereby its economy. It suggests that in robust economies with credible monetary institutions, and where demand for CBM is sufficiently and sustainably high, large‐scale issuance such as under CBDC is not inflationary, and it does not weaken public sector finances.

New Blogs: Insights & Disruptive Thinking Wanted

We invite you to read the blogs here and leave a comment.

We offer a platform to different voices interested in macroeconomics. We welcome and encourage blog posts around the challenge of rebuilding macroeconomics. You can find our current blogs here.

Our mailing address is:

Rebuilding Macroeconomics, NIESR

2 Dean Trench Street

Smith Square

London, SW1P 3HE

United Kingdom

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