Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2013



Course Number

DIPL 4556

Course Description

Financial issues are central to the international economic debate. Each time the GB financial ministers and heads of state meet there is a discussion and statement about the appropriateness of the exchange rates among the various countries with particular emphasis on exchange rate of China's currency against the U.S. dollar. A primary goal of this course will be to provide the skills required to understand and be engaged in the international economic policy debate.

The course will include a brief section on the benefits of international trade and of free trade. Considerable time will be devoted to international financial integration, the determination of exchange rates, the foreign exchange market and the internationalization of capital markets. The sovereign debt crisis in the Euro zone and the sustainability of the Euro as currently constituted will play a prominent role in the course.

Among the other issues we will examine are the implications of growing foreign ownership of U.S. Government debt and the role of various entities such as the IMF, in the global financial landscape. We will devote particular attention to the ongoing debate about the exchange rate of the Chinese renminbi against the U.S. dollar. We will also look at some major financial crises of the last several decades, such as those in Latin America, Asia and Russia.

As part of the coursework, each student will be required to prepare a short verbal presentation to the class on an event or development relevant to the international financial markets.

The format of the course will emphasize discussion among students and between the students and the instructor. Students are expected to have read the material assigned for each class and to be prepared for a spirited discussion. Students will be expected to be aware of current international economic developments and to be prepared to discuss them at each class. Students are also encouraged to read periodicals with a strong coverage of international economic developments; The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Economist.