Politics, Philosophy and Economics 20 (2):151-179 (2021)

Peter Dietsch
Université de Montréal
Theories of justice rely on a variety of criteria to determine what social arrangements should be considered just. For most theories, the distribution of financial resources matters. However, they take the existence of money as a given and tend to ignore the way in which the creation of money impacts distributive justice. Those with access to collateral are favoured in the creation of credit or debt, which represents the main form of money today. Appealing to the idea that access to credit confers freedom, and that inequalities in this freedom are morally arbitrary, this article shows how the advantage to those with collateral plays out in different ways in today’s economy. The article identifies several forms of bias inherent in money creation, and its subsequent destruction: loans from commercial banks to individuals and corporations, interbank lending, lending from central banks to commercial banks, and selective bail-outs by central banks. These are not mere inequalities: they are unjust since alternative designs of the financial architecture exist that would significantly reduce them. The paper focuses on one possible reform with the potential to address several of the types of bias identified, namely the separation of money creation from private bank credit.
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DOI 10.1177/1470594x21999736
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Philosophy of Money and Finance.Boudewijn De Bruin, Lisa Maria Herzog, Martin O'Neill & Joakim Sandberg - 2018 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Palo Alto: Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.

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