FM200      Half Unit
Financial Systems and Crises

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Dimitrios Vayanos


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Finance. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

This course will cover financial markets and institutions both in their current form and through history, and the economic theories to understand them. On the institutional side, the topics covered include the historical evolution of banks, central banks, and bank regulation, the evolution of financial exchanges and their regulation, financial crises, and the role of finance in long-run economic development. On the theoretical side, the topics covered include theories and mathematical models of debt, banks, and macro-financial linkages. The mix between institutional and theoretical material will roughly be 50-50.


33 hours of seminars in the MT.

This course is taught in the interactive lecturing format. There is no distinction between lectures and classes/seminars; there are “sessions” only, and the pedagogical approach in each session is interactive.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a number of problem sets in the MT.

Indicative reading

1. Kindleberger, Charles, 2015, Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, 7th edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

2. Gorton, Gary, 2012, Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don’t See Them Coming, Oxford University Press.

3. Tirole, Jean, 2006, The Theory of Corporate Finance, Princeton University Press.


In class assessment (30%) and in class assessment (70%) in the MT.

The first ICA will be held in in Week 6 and the other at the end of MT.

Key facts

Department: Finance

Total students 2018/19: 35

Average class size 2018/19: 35

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness