Syllabus for Ec 120 – online This is a fast-paced and lively course in which students are encouraged to integrate

financial news they find on the web with the theoretical material in the textbook. Because it is online, there is more one-on-one contact with the professor and with other students than in a typical face-to-face course, yet students can log on when it’s convenient for them. We begin by defining M0, M1, and M2, and then quickly move to how the prices of stock and bonds are determined. We ask questions like, “If the Federal Reserve were to move interest rates up, how would that affect the value of the US bonds you are holding?” We will also read about all sorts of financial instruments that you may have heard about—credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, bankers acceptances, commercial paper. Don’t worry! It’s new to most students. Then we dive into the balance sheets of banks and ask how they actually make money. We study their loan portfolios, examine bank fees, investigate “special purpose vehicles—their off balance sheet activities that create the products that derivatives are made of—and learn how to evaluate return on assets and equity. That leads to a study of the roots of the financial crisis of 2007 and the financial reform efforts. We end with a thorough examination of the Federal Reserve System and its various tools of monetary policy. Much time is devoted to understanding and evaluating quantitative easing. I have taught Money & Banking for 30 years, and developed it as an online course 3 years ago. For all six modules, I have created teaching videos that reproduce the experience of being in my UVM classroom and I have selected dozens of other commercially produced videos as well. There are six robust homework sets but no exams in this course. Feel free to contact me should you wish to speak with former online students or if you have questions about the course. Email:

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