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1HistoryofFinancialTurbulenceandCrisesProf.MichalisM.PsalidopoulosSpringterm2011Coursedescription:The outbreakofthe2008financialcrisishasrekindled academic interestin the history of fi‐nancial turbulence and crises – their causes and consequences, their interpretations by eco‐nomicactorsandtheorists,andthepolicyresponsestheystimulated.Inthiscourse,weusetheanalyticaltoolsofeconomichistory,thehistoryofeconomicpolicy‐making and the history of economic thought, to study episodes of financial turbulence andcrisis spanning the last three centuries. This broad historical canvas offers such diverse his‐toricalexamplesastheDutchtulipmaniaofthelate17thcentury,theGermanhyperinflationof 1923, the Great Crash of 1929, the Mexican Peso crisis of 1994/5and the mostrecent sub‐primemortgagecrisisintheUS.Thepurposeofthishistoricaljourneyis twofold:Ontheonehand,wewillexploretheprin‐cipalcausesofavarietyofdifferentmanias,panicsandcrises,aswellastheirconsequences–bothnationaland international.On the other hand,we shall focus on the wayeconomic ac‐tors, economic theorists and policy‐makers responded to these phenomena. Thus, we willalso discuss bailouts, sovereign debt crises and bankruptcies, hyperinflations and global re‐cessions, including the most recent financial crisis of 2008 and the policy measures used toaddressit.Whatismore,emphasis shallbeplacedonthe theoretical frameworkwithwhichcontemporary economists sought to conceptualize each crisis, its interplay with policy‐making,aswellasthepossiblechangesintheoreticalperspectivethatmayhavebeenprecipi‐tatedbytheexperienceofthecrisesthemselves.Last but not least, the course seeks to provide an introduction to important themes in eco‐nomicandsocialhistory,andhighlighttheusefulnessandsignificanceofbotheconomichis‐toryandthehistoryofeconomicstomoderneconomists.Courseobjectives:Bytheendofthecourse,studentswillbefamiliarwith:• Thetypology, terminologyandbasicetiology of differentfinancial crises,as wellastheprincipalhistoricalfactssurroundingmajorcrises.Thisincludesdistinguishingbetweendifferenttypesofcrises(currency,debt,financial,liquidity,etc.),beingabletohighlightkeydifferences and similarities, as well as discussing and evaluating their causes andconsequences.• Themethodsappliedbyeconomichistorianstotopicsinfinancialhistory,andtheirsig‐nificance to modern day economists. Historical scholarship in economics finds itself inan ongoing discussion aboutwhat eventsor processes are significant,how one can de‐fineandassessthemand,especially,whyitisimportantforpresentdaysocialscientiststobeliterateineconomichistory.• Ways to synthesize knowledge of economic history, thehistoryofeconomic policyandthehistoryofeconomicthoughttoforgeone’sownoriginalwayoflookingatcontempo‐raryepisodesofeconomicturbulence–andthewaytheyareinterpretedandtackledbypolicy‐makers.2Courseprerequisites:Apartfromaworkingknowledgeofintermediatemacroeconomics,thecourseassumeslittleprior knowledge of financial history or the history of economic thought, although a back‐groundinthesefieldswillbeanadvantage.Throughoutthecourse,emphasisshallbeplacedonhistoricalratherthanfinancial/mathematicaltoolsforstudyingcrises.Courseoutline:Themainoutlineofthecourseisgivenbelow,alongwithsomesupplementaryreadingallot‐tedtoeachweekofcoursework;themainbooktobestudiedthroughoutthecourseis:Charles P. Kindleberger, 2000. Manias, panics, and crashes :a history of financial crises. NewYork:WileyThisisthe fourth editionof the classic bookbyCharlesKindleberger, and the lastone to besigned by him alone. The book is now in its fifth edition with Robert Aliber as co‐author;whilst this will also serve the purposes of the course, students are encouraged to make anefforttoobtaina(used)copyofanypreviousedition.Becauseofthestructureofthebook,individualchapterscannotbematchedtospecificweeksofstudy,butstudentswillbeexpectedtohavecoveredmostofthematerialincludedbythemiddleofthecourse.For a goodintroductionintovarious issues relating to the history of economic thought,


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