The case for the ontology of money as credit: money as bearer or basis of “value”

Phil Armstrong, Kalim Siddiqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although we acknowledge that, throughout history, commodities have been used as money “things” or money “signifiers”, commodities have never been money itself. We believe that the conflation of money with money “things” (commodities) in this way constitutes an ontological or category error. Austrian School economists and their Anglo-American neo-classical cousins favour a “conjectural” history of money where it is conceptualised as a cost-saving development of barter. Such a story supports their ethics. We reject any conjectural history which places the origin of money in the context of commodity exchange and instead support credit and state theories, and argue that in its essential nature, money is credit and nothing but credit.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)98-118
Number of pages21
Journalreal-world economics review
Issue number90
Early online date9 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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