Modern Money and Public Purpose

Law School Students Develop Seminar Series on Contemporary Issues in Law and Political Economics

New York, Sept. 21, 2012—A consortium of Columbia Law School students has created an ambitious eight-part, interdisciplinary seminar series, "Modern Money and Public Purpose," intended to present new perspectives and progressive policy proposals on a range of contemporary issues facing the U.S. and the global macroeconomy.

The series will feature well-known speakers—both academics and practitioners—from a range of disciplines including economics, law, finance, criminology, systems theory, and history. Rohan Grey ’14, the driving force behind the program, identified speakers and topics based on his own reading and research into current economic debates.

“I see these speakers as at the cutting edge of progressive macroeconomic theory,” Grey said, “and have watched over the past three years as one big thinker after another comes into contact with their ideas, wrestles, resists, and finally accepts their paradigm as self-evident.”

The Sept. 11 seminar focused on the history and evolution of money and debt, and featured Michael Hudson, a Wall Street financial analyst, and L. Randall Wray, professor of economics and research director for the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Next week’s seminar, “Governments are Not Households: Implications of Monetary Sovereignty and Stock-Flow Consistent Accounting,” will center around the legal and institutional structure of the current global monetary system, with a particular emphasis on the economic freedoms afforded to nations such as the U.S., U.K., Japan, Canada, and Australia that use a non-convertible fiat currency with a floating exchange rate. 

The series was conceived and developed by Grey and M. Jonathan Brice ’14, and is being organized jointly by the Workers’ Rights Student Coalition, a newly formed social justice-oriented organization interested in issues relating to workers’ rights, employment issues and labor law. Series co-hosts include: the ACLU; the American Constitution Society; the Columbia Pre-Law Society; the Columbia Society for International Law; the Public Interest Law Foundation; RightsLink; and the Unemployment Action Center. The Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy serves as seminar series co-sponsor.

The full schedule can be viewed here.

All seminars are open to the public and will be live-streamed and archived to allow people easy access to the presentations and discussions.

To interview Rohan and/or to attend an event, please contact the Public Affairs office.