Financial institutions are a pillar of civilized society, supporting people in their productive ventures and managing the economic risks they take on. The workings of these institutions are important to comprehend if we are to predict their actions today and their evolution in the coming information age. The course strives to offer understanding of the theory of finance and its relation to the history, strengths and imperfections of such i...more
Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture reviews the legal and economic strategies that can be used to manage coastal development. Over half of the United States population lives in coastal areas and will be affected by sea level rise and more intense storms. The lecture looks at the conflict between property rights and efforts to protect coastal ecosystems through the use of eminent domain to create national seashores. Ba...more
Inspired by Charles Lindberg's Spirit of St. Louis, X PRIZE founder and space entrepreneur Peter Diamandis explains to interviewer George Zachary of Charles River Ventures that offering a high profile cash reward can often be more financially advantageous - and more aggressive in moving forward a societal push - than simply funding a good idea. Diamandis describes his incredible quest for funding, pitching hundreds of potential benefactors...more
Technology and innovation underlie finance. In order to manage risks successfully, particularly long-term, we must pool large amounts of risk among many, diverse people and overcome barriers such as moral hazard and erroneous framing. Inventions such as insurance contracts and social security, and information technology all the way from such simple things as paper, and the postal service to modern computers have helped to manage risks and ...more
Professor Shiller provides a description of the course, Financial Markets, including administrative details and the topics to be discussed in each lecture. He briefly discusses the importance of studying finance and each key topic. Lecture topics will include: behavioral finance, financial technology, financial instruments, commercial banking, investment banking, financial markets and institutions, real estate, regulation, monetary policy,...more
Professor Shiller, in his final lecture, reviews some of the most important tools for individual risk management. Significant inequality in domestic and international communities has created a need for social insurance programs, such as those created in Germany in the late 1800s. The tax system, bankruptcy laws, and government insurance programs are used to manage risk of personal wealth. However, each of these inventions must take account...more
More on the weaknesses of fractional reserve banking. The FDIC and deposit insurance and its side effects.
Insurance provides significant risk management to a broad public, and is an essential tool for promoting human welfare. By pooling large numbers of independent or low-correlated risks, insurance providers can minimize overall risk. The risk management is tailored to individual circumstances and reflects centuries of insurance industry experience with real risks and with moral hazard and selection bias issues. Probability theory and statist...more