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The US dollar and its payments system: architecture and political implications

Adrien Faudot

Keywords: international monetary system; US dollar; payment systems; monetary power

We aim here to study the frame within which the US dollar circulates, while questioning the role of the main operators which constitute the cross-border dollar payments architecture. The current dollar standard, however, allows the country which issues the currency and centralizes its payment system, through central-bank money emissions, to wield it as a political weapon and as a means to reach political standardization. Envisioning money as a payment system, this paper sheds light on the flaws inherent in the dollar payment system by emphasizing its asymmetrical nature and its reliance on a national payment system rather than on a truly international one.

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