Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




This chapter discusses the way in which money is legally constructed and hierarchically structured. In financial markets, participants trade different forms of money, some of which is state-issued and some privately issued. A form of money is closer to the “apex” of the system the closer it is to entities that can issue liquid means or determine acceptable forms of payment, such as central banks and governments. During financial crises, market participants close to the “apex” are systematically advantaged. Various legal devices, e.g. property rights, collateral rights, or trust law, contribute to hierarchically structuring the financial system, by granting preferential treatment to some moneys over others. As the historical development of money shows, public and private entities have been closely intertwined in its creation. These legal constructions reveal questions of justice at the very core of the financial system, with regard to both unchecked hierarchies and unjustified distributions of losses.


Business Organizations Law | Law | Political Economy


Center on Global Legal Transformation

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 224