Thesis submitted for the Ph.D. degree in Economics at the University of Athens
This dissertation discusses the forms of money, in order to focus on the form of world money, while drawing useful conclusions from the evolution of the International Monetary System since the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement. It is shown that the form of money performing in the world market is an alloy form of central bank credit money declared as legal tender by a major capitalist country. This new form of money has been termed as quasi-world money. The exposition of its historical emergence following its most prominent concrete forms, namely the US dollar and the euro, has revealed interesting features of this money and the IMSs that were related to it.
Moreover, official hoards of money proved as essential as revelatory for the functioning of the current IMS, the quasi-world money standard. The examination of the official hoards revealed the main monetary role of gold as the reserve pylon of quasi-world money. The relation of the two had been exposed by the fundamental contradiction that gave rise to quasi-world money in the first place. Yet, the same contradiction determines the limits of proper quasi-world moneys like the US dollar, or peculiar ones, like the euro. In the case of the latter, additional constraints apply.
This dissertation can also be found in the National Archive of PhD Theses