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seminars > fall 2013 schedule > seminar: A History of Economic and Financial Crises

 

Honors Seminars Fall 2013

A History of Economic and Financial Crises

Course:
HON 295 Sec:001  
Credit:
hours  
GER Cat:
Social Sciences  
Time:
13:30-14:45  
Days:
MW  
Location:
Clark Hall 205  
Instructor:
Dr. Lee A. Craig
Alumni Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Economics
 
Restrictions: N/A  
Description:

Economies go up; economies go down. To take one example from history, between 1930 and 1935, 10,000 banks failed. Between 1929 and 1932, the stock market lost 89 percent of its value; today, that would be about $18 trillion of lost wealth. During the same period the overall economy, as measured by GDP, shrank by 30 percent. Between 1931 and 1939, the unemployment rate never fell below 14 percent, and, incredibly, for four consecutive years (1932-1935) it never fell below 20 percent; today, that would mean 30 million people out of work. Why is the economy occasionally gripped by a financial panic and an economic crisis?
br<> The course focuses on the historical development of financial markets and institutions, within the broader context of economic systems. The emphasis is on those characteristics that tend to create business cycles and the correlation of those cycles with financial panics and crises. It includes an introduction to major financial assets (including stocks, bonds, and derivative instruments), the markets in which these assets are traded, and important financial intermediaries, including commercial banks and their antecedents. In addition, the course reviews the conduct of monetary policy, monetary standards (e.g. gold vs. fiat monies), central banking in general and the Federal Reserve System in particular, with focus placed on the evolution of these institutions and their roles in the history of economic and financial crises.