1. Why Finance?



Financial Theory (ECON 251)

This lecture gives a brief history of the young field of financial theory, which began in business schools quite separate from economics, and of my growing interest in the field and in Wall Street. A cornerstone of standard financial theory is the efficient markets hypothesis, but that has been discredited by the financial crisis of 2007-09. This lecture describes the kinds of questions standard financial theory nevertheless answers well. It also introduces the leverage cycle as a critique of standard financial theory and as an explanation of the crisis. The lecture ends with a class experiment illustrating a situation in which the efficient markets hypothesis works surprisingly well.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Course Introduction
10:16 – Chapter 2. Collateral in the Standard Theory
17:54 – Chapter 3. Leverage in Housing Prices
33:47 – Chapter 4. Examples of Finance
46:13 – Chapter 5. Why Study Finance?
50:13 – Chapter 6. Logistics
58:22 – Chapter 7. A Experiment of the Financial Market

Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website: online.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Fall 2009.

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