International Finance

By Monica Brown,2014-08-07 16:29
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International Finance

    International Finance

    (FBE 464)

    Department of Finance

    Marshall School of Business

    University of Southern California

Spring 2008 Professor Jesus Sierra

    email: HOH-403

    Office Hours: MW 9:00 10:00am

     TTH 9:00 10:00am

     or by appointment

    This course will focus on decision making in an international context. It covers major topics in international financial markets. These topics are necessary materials to be learnt by anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in international investment, international banking, international trade or multinational corporations. In this course, we will discuss the foreign exchange markets. In particular, we will cover the spot exchange rate, forward exchange rate, currency futures and options. We will discuss the roles of these different instruments in risk management. Balance of payments and international monetary system are also topics to be discussed. We will discuss the purchasing power parity and interest rate parity, the two parity conditions that are the foundations for international finance.


     thAlan Shapiro, Multinational Financial Management, 8 edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2006

    Wall Street Journal is required: I encourage you to bring to classes any relevant issues in the Wall Street Journal or other magazines for discussion. This will enrich our knowledge and experience. It also helps to bridge the gap between the theories and real world issues.

    Lecture notes will be posted in the BLACKBOARD system under the course number for downloading. You should be able to access the BLACKBOARD by typing your userid and password of your UNIX

    account. For more information of the BLACKBOARD, please contact the Keck Center.


    Requirements for the course include two examinations (65%), seven homework assignments (total 25%) and class participation (10%). Class participation may alter your grade by as much as one level. The final grade is based on a “curve.” I adhere roughly to the school guidelines: An average grade of 3.3 out of 4.00 for undergraduate elective courses. This translates loosely into something like 30-35% A, 45-50% B, 15-20% C, and 0-10% D&E. I do not assign letter grades to individual exams and homework assignments. However, I will give you complete distributions for each grade and you can apply the scale indicated above.

     Midterm Exam 30%

     Final Exam 35%

     Homework (7) 25%

     Class Participation 10%

    Examinations will consist of multiple choice questions, numerical problems, and in some cases short essays. All exams are closed-book, closed-notes. Each exam will cover the required readings from the text and all the material covered in class. Each student has an option to drop the midterm examination score, and shift the entire midterm weight to the final examination.

    Homework: Each student is responsible for turning in her or his homework at the beginning of class on the due dates. You get full credit for an honest effort in doing the homework and turning it in on time; you will not be graded on the accuracy of your answers. I will hand out answers when I return the homework. I encourage you to work on the homework problems with your classmates or your team. However, each student must submit his or her own homework!

Violations of academic integrity standards will be treated seriously. "The use of unauthorized materials,

    communication with fellow students during an examination, attempting to benefit from the work of another student, and similar behavior that defeats the intent of an examination or other class work is unacceptable to the University. It is often difficult to distinguish between a culpable act and inadvertent behavior resulting from the nervous tensions that accompany examinations. Where a clear violation has occurred, however, the instructor may disqualify the student's work as unacceptable and assign a failing mark on the paper."

Make-up Exams: Current department policy to which I adhere is “No makeup midterm and final exams

    will be allowed.” If you have an extenuating circumstance that prevents you from taking the exams, discuss your reasons with me BEFORE the time of the exam. Current department policy is that a student

    may not be given a make-up exam unless he or she has obtained written permission from the course

    instructor in advance. In addition, you must be able to document your extenuating circumstance.

    Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me (or my TA) as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776


    This syllabus is an invitation to you to engage in an exciting and interactive study international finance. It is my goal to provide a collaborative and supportive learning environment where students will learn from one another both inside and outside of the classroom. To that end, modifications to this syllabus may be warranted as I assess the learning needs of this particular class.

    Important Dates

Week 3 January 31 Homework # 1 Due

    Week 5 February 14 Homework # 2 Due

    Week 7 February 28 Homework # 3 Due

    Week 9 March 11 Homework # 4 Due and MIDTERM Exam. Week 11 April 3 Homework # 5 Due

    Week 13 April 17 Homework # 6 Due

    Week 15 May 1 Homework # 7 Due. Last Class.

    Topics to be Covered


    Chapter 2: The Determination of Exchange Rates. Chapter 3: The International Monetary System. Chapter 4: Parity Conditions in International Finance and Currency Forecasting.

    Chapter 5: The Balance of Payments and International Economic Linkages.


Chapter 7: The Foreign Exchange Market.

    Chapter 8: Currency Futures and Options Markets. Chapter 9: Swap and Interest Rate Derivatives.


    Chapter 11: Measuring and Managing Economic Exposure.


Chapter 13: The Euromarkets.


    Chapter 15: International Portfolio Investment.


    Chapter 6: Country Risk Analysis.

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