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Current Issues in Financial Markets 1-credit online course Winter Session 2013 12/26/13 1/10/14 Professor Shirley Gedeon

n Department of Economics University of Vermont Prerequisites: Ec 11 & 12. Highly recommended: Ec 171 or 120 or previous experience/internship in the financial services industry Course Description This is primarily a discussion seminar in which students learn how to select, interpret and summarize articles from the financial press that can provide realworld examples of theoretical concepts covered in macroeconomics and money and banking. This course has the following primary objectives: Examine contemporary decision problems faced by investors, financial intermediaries and the central bank Learn how to read and evaluate market data on options, bonds, stocks, forward commodity contracts, etc. Become familiar with major economic releases and political news that impact financial markets Develop writing and discussion skills through daily summaries of articles from The Economist, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal and oneon-one dialogue with professor. Course Texts: 1. Subscription or access to a digital version of the Wall Street Journal: Go to: 2. Guide to Money & Investing, Virginia B. Morris and Kenneth M Morris, Lightbulb Press, 2012 - your option to purchase e-book or printed version

To order book: y7zSWNs6kG6hBM1BEodhSu-pzS5GlhExjBh0Rb47qAL0Tzwg-ee&CatInteropID=title01&CEI=6a36cfac-19ff-4fc9-b329-eaa65105b255 Course Syllabus & Requirements 1. Students will be required to have an online subscription to the Wall Street Journal and read the entire newspaper every day. Each day students will be given an assignment to select an article (10 inches or longer) from the Wall Street Journal, Economist, Financial Times, or other approved blogs or news outlets that pertain to the topics listed below. Students will write a 250+ word summary of each article and link the realworld event to the theoretical concepts and/or discussion from Principles of Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, or Intermediate Macroeconomics. Students will read and critically comment on 3 other students postings. Altogether students will post 9 summaries of news articles and read and critically respond to 27 other student postings. 2. Students will also be required to individually schedule two 15-minute phone/Skype sessions with Professor Gedeon during which time she will conduct mock job interviews with the student by posing questions about the latest financial news. How the course works:

There will be a course blog for each week day of the Winter Session listed under "Daily Blog" on the left-hand nav bar of Blackboard. You will write up your article summary and provide a link to the article in your blog entry following the rubric provided under "Rubric Summary". Your summaries should be at least 250 words long. Two students may select the same article, but you may not be the third student to post a summary of the same article. You will read 3 other students' postings and comment (in more than 75 words) on the students summary, the way in which the student linked the article to economic theory, and/or the implications of the article. Follow the instructions for "Blog responses" listed Under "Rubric Summary." Syllabus 12/26 12/30: Structure of Financial Markets Debt & Equity Markets Exchanges and Over-the-Counter Markets Money Markets Reading assignment: 1. Wall Street Journal especially Money and Investing Section 2. Guide to Money & Investing, "Money & Markets" and "Stocks". In my book, pps. 6-67. Read to teach yourself the parts of the money and equity markets that you don't understand. Just send an email if you want more clarification or explanation of anything you read about. Writing assignment: Post 3 summaries--one per blog-- altogether from any of the topics listed above Respond to 3 different students' postings 3 original posts + 9 responses 12/31 1/3: Risk and Term Structure of Interest Rates Bond Markets & Yield Curves Reading assignment: 1. Wall Street Journal especially Money and Investing Section

2. Guide to Money & Investing "Bonds". If you would like to teach yourself something about options and futures, read those chapters as well. You're call! Writing assignment: Post 2 summaries (one per blog) of an article relating to the bond market or yield curves. Be sure to analyze the article from the standpoint of what the author is saying is affecting yields or bond prices. Respond to 3 different students' postings on each blog 2 original posts + 6 responses 1/4 1/7: The Business of Banking Regulatory Issues, including Dodd-Frank Bank Consolidation and Return on Equity Shadow Banking System Reading Assignment: 1. Wall St. Journal, Economist, Forbes, etc. or other financial blogs or press. You might want to search the internet for articles. Just Google shadow banking or bank profits or Dodd-Frank and see what you come up with. Writing assignment: Post 2 summaries (one per blog) of an article related to the banking system Respond to 3 different students postings on each blog 2 original posts + 6 responses 1/8 1/10: Central Banking and the Conduct of Monetary Policy Central Bank Objectives Management of expectations & FOMC news The next Chair of the Board of Governors Commentary on how the Fed has performed Reading assignment: Post 2 summaries of articles relating to the Federal Reserve

For a change, go to the Federal Reserves website ( and select News & Events and write up a summary of one of the speeches And/Or do a Google search or write up something you find in the WSJ or other news blogs or news websites

Writing assignment: Post summaries on two different blogs to one article/speech/opinion piece that you have read Respond to 2 different students' postings for each day

2 original posts + 6 responses