International trade accounts for $25 trillion, or 30%, of global GDP and 80% of if happens within the network of multinational companies, or MNCs. In short, it is pretty important and for the most part beneficial to everyone involved. In this course, students first learn the basic theoretical underpinnings of international trade and then focus on how it is organized in practice, with strongest emphasis on the management of MNCs. The material can be roughly divided into four segments:
- Basics of currency exchange: terminology, quoting conventions, cross-rates, triangular arbitrage, structure and functioning of the foreign exchange (FX) market
- Institutional and conceptual background: international monetary system, balance of payments, parity conditions, forecasting exchange rates
- Managing FX exposure: measuring transactional, translational and operational exposure; hedging instruments and strategies
- International investments and valuation: cost of capital; foreign direct investments (FDI) and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A); international taxation
Students should expect a good deal of calculations and have a basic grasp of Excel to succeed in the course.
Current Topics in Finance
Perhaps the greatest contemporary challenge to the economic well-being of citizens in developed countries is the shifting of responsibility for managing personal savings from governments and employers to households at a time when financial markets are more complex than ever. This course provides students with basic concepts and tools to navigate this challenge and become more conscious consumers of financial products. It begins with a broad overview of what is the purpose of saving and how much each of us will need to save in order to maintain a desired lifestyle. Next, it tackles the very basic but not at all trivial question of properly calculating the return on a financial investment, using publicly available data. Then, it explores how to invest in order to obtain a good return. Finally, it takes a look at some of the recent financial innovations known as FinTech