Annual Conference 2017



VfS Annual Conference 2017:

"Alternative Structures for Money and Banking" 

September 3 - 6,  University of Vienna



Core Conference Organization:
Hans Gersbach (ETH Zurich)

Open Meeting Organization: 
Christine Zulehner (Goethe-University of Frankfurt)

Local Organization: 
Jean-Robert Tyran (University of Vienna)


Core Conference:

The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has spurred efforts to give money and financial intermediaries a proper place in macroeconomic thinking and models. It has also given a powerful impulse to the search for potential alternatives to the current monetary and financial architecture.


In the current system, the banknotes and coins issued by the central bank are the sole legal tender. Yet, most of the money is created by commercial banks. Only certain depository institutions – mostly commercial banks – are eligible to borrow reserves from the central bank, and these reserves are used to settle interbank liabilities.


Paired with new ways to transact and pay, which are enabled by digitalization and encryption methods, several alternative architectures for money and banking are now being discussed in academic and in policy circles. Some proposals and technological developments could fundamentally change the current monetary architecture as well as the entire banking and financial system:



  • Abolition or Strong Limitation of Money Creation by Commercial Banks 
  • Abolition of Cash and the Role of Book Money 
  • Crypto-currencies and Free Banking



At this conference, we will review the core ideas underpinning these alternative architectures, and will assess their consistency, completeness, and prospects of adoption. We will draw on historical experience to assess whether these alternative architectures are merely a rehash of old ideas or whether they are truly new. We will also examine how central banks view digital currencies and new transaction technologies.



Keynote speakers are:

Michael Kumhof (Bank of England): "ChicagoPlan / Narrow Banking"

Martin Hellwig (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods): "Geldtheorie, Bargeld und Giralgeld" 

Adi Shamir (Weizmann Institute in Rechovot, Israel) : "The Functionality and the Future of Digital Currencies"

Albrecht Ritschl (London School of Economics): "Emergency funds, cigarettes, Bitcoins: About the rise and fall of alternative currencies"

The general theme of the conference is also covered in a panel discussion with leading and experienced representatives.


Open meeting sessions:

Chairperson: Christine Zulehner (Goethe Universitiy of Frankfurt)



The conference registration will be activated on 1 May 2017. You will find all relevant information here.


Preparatory Commission: 

Christine Zulehner (Universität Frankfurt), Chair

Stefan Buehler (Universität St. Gallen)

Tomaso Duso (DIW Berlin)

Christina Gathmann (Universität Heidelberg)

Hendrik Hakenes (Universität Bonn)

Florian Heiß (Universität Düsseldorf)

Anja Lamprecht (London Business School)

Mario Larch (Universität Bayreuth)

Monika Merz (Universität Wien)

Olaf W. Reimann, Berlin (Organisation)

Rupert Sausgruber (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)

Andreas Schabert (Universität Köln)


For further information, please visit the Conference homepage.



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