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Online Courses

EC330 Economics 330: Money, Banking and Financial Markets

The financial crisis of 2007 – 2009 nearly triggered a worldwide depression.  Could the crisis have been prevented, what caused it to happen, and will it occur again?

Economics 330 online studies the basic functions of the financial system while deemphasizing the memorization of operational details.  As economic incentives and technological advancements cause the financial system to evolve, understanding its basic functions increases in importance.  Changes will occur as governments, firms, and consumers adjust to the transformations resulting from the crisis and as policymakers put in place measures that attempt to grow the economy while reducing systemic risk.  An objective of the course is to learn the essential functions that define the financial system enabling an understanding of it even as its form changes.

By the end of a successful course students will have developed the analytical skills and the tools necessary to understand how the financial system functions and why it changes.  They will be familiar with, and understand, intermediate economic concepts related to the financial system, which includes money, financial instruments, financial markets, and financial institutions including central banks.  In addition to understanding the mechanisms determining financial asset prices, which includes the determination of real and nominal interest rates, students will have learned how to make sound practical economic and financial decisions throughout life.  They will be capable of reading, understanding, and critically evaluating financial and economic events including what is reported by news information services.

Rather than memorization, the development of skills of analysis involves studying worked examples and practice.  Practice includes completing pretest, matching, multiple choice, and true-false exercises as well as practice exams all aimed at achieving each lesson’s clearly stated objectives.

Major concepts covered in the course include future and present value, risk, bonds and interest rates, derivative instruments including futures contracts, options and swaps, the risk and term structures of interest rates, the economics of financial intermediation including asymmetric information models, financial crises and system regulation, the central bank’s balance sheet, and money supply and demand as well as a review of the meaning and measurement of GDP and inflation.

Exam Policy

All exams must be taken in the presence of a proctor. Arrangements will be available for students to take the exams at the East Lansing campus. Students who cannot take the exam at the East Lansing campus due to distance or time constraints must make alternative arrangements. Acceptable alternatives include proctoring by an MSU instructor for students enrolled in a study abroad program, proctoring by base personnel for students serving in the U.S. military, or taking the exam at an NCTA-certified testing center. A list of certified testing centers may be found at http://www.ncta-testing.org/find-a-cctc-participant. Note that testing centers may charge a fee for their services, or have restricted hours of operation. These are the only testing options available for examinations, and only students able to use one of these options should enroll. No exams, except as listed above, will be given outside the United States.


Michigan State University Department of Economics