Course 2012-2013 a.y.



Department of Finance

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLAPI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The course main objectives can be summarised as follows: 

  • Review the conceptual framework for analysing the role of financial systems and comparing them across countries and over time, in particular looking at the main channels of intermediation: banks vs financial markets.
  • Discuss the current problems of the international financial system. In particular, a large section is devoted to the causes and implications of the crisis that began in June 2007 and which will shape the evolution of the global financial system in the foreseeable future.
  • Look at the various issues both at the macro and the micro level: from this point of view we discuss the main implications for the business models of the main global intermediaries with particular reference to the three main geographic areas: Europe, Us, Asia. These topics are also discussed in special guest lectures with international experts.

Course Content Summary

The course aims to identify and discuss the main problems that financial intermediaries face when operating in different economic and historical conditions, instead of analyzing country by country the institutional differences that still exist. We will try to answer questions such as: what are the main characteristics of a financial system and how can they be measured? Why structural characteristics differ across countries and over time? Why some financial systems (e.g. the US and the UK) were hit so hardly by the crisis, while others (e.g: Italy and Spain) at the beginning seemed almost unscathed and then were worse off than other banks? What is the outlook at the beginning of 2013 for the main European banks? What does that mean from the point of view of strategic decisions of financial intermediaries which want to be international or global?

The course is divided in four parts, devoted to:

  • General issues (role of the financial system; literature on comparing financial systems);
  • Anatomy of a crisis (the effects on main financial systems and the main causes of th crisis);
  • The main weaknesses from a macro and a micro point of view;
  • The strategic issues for the main global players.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Valuation is based on a final written exam, based on multiple choice questions and open questions.

Individual essays (as a part or alternative to the final exam, depending on the length of the essay) can be assigned to attending students. Topics will be chosen at mid-course.

Further details on all the points are given in the syllabus available at the beginning of the course


Notes on the functions of the financial system (available on the weblearning space)

Papers from the main international bodies (such as the Imf and the Ecb) which are detailed in the syllabus and available on the institutions’ website (links are provided on the weblearning space)

Slides of the course (also available on the weblearning space)

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Basics of Financial intermediation and Finance

Last change 19/04/2012 12:48