ECON 4900/ BA 6100
Explorations in the Great Recession (or the Federal Reserve Class)
Instructor: Professor David Berri
Office hours (PRIOR TO 11/2): Monday & Wednesday&Friday 2pm to 4pm
Tuesday&Thursday: 3pm to 4pm
(AFTER 11/2): Friday 2pm to 4pm
Tuesday&Thursday: 2pm to 4pm
Office : Dixie Leavitt Business Building #318
Office Phone Number: 586-5477
Web Site: http://suu.edu/faculty/berri/
The Great Recession began in December of 2007 and didn’t officially end until June, 2009. Consequently this was the longest downturn in the U.S. Economy since the Great Depression. The purpose of this class is to explore the causes of this event and evaluate the responses of the Federal Reserve and Federal Government. This exploration will include a review of economic history, macroeconomic theory, and both monetary and fiscal policy.
With respect to monetary policy, this class will employ a simulation created and presented by economists at the San Francisco Federal Reserve. This simulation will allow students to work with the San Francisco Federeal Reserve. And towards the end of the term, economists from the Federal Reserve will visit Southern Utah University for presentations made by the students in the class. In sum, this class will provide students an opportunity to interact with people involved with the macroeconomic policy of this nation.
Student Course Objectives
Students will learn (1) economic history; (2) macroeconomic theory; (3) analyze macroeconomic concepts and theories; (4) collect macroeconomic data and information; (5) construct data tables and charts to organize, analyze, and present data and relationships; (6) assess current macroeconomic conditions and make simple forecasts; and (7) affectively communicate macroeconomic information in written documents and oral presentations.
The Instructor’s Course Objectives:
My primary focus is that you learn the material presented in the course. By learning, I hope you will still be able to recall the material we cover long after this quarter has concluded.
Required Text and Supporting Material
Macroeconomic Simulation sponsored by the San Francisco Federal Reserve
ISBN: 978-0691158730 Ben Bernanke The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis Princeton
Alan Blinder After the Music Stopped Penguin ISBN: 978-1594205309
Additional writings available either on-line or on reserve at the library.
The grading scale is as follows:
A = 92.0-100 A- = 89.5-92.0
B+ = 87.0-89.5 B = 82.0-87.0
B- = 79.5-82.0 C+ = 77.0-79.5
C = 72.0-77.0 C- = 69.5-72.0
D+ = 67.0-69.5 D = 60.0-67.0
D- = 55.0-60.0 F < 55.0
Although this is the grading scale slated for this course, the instructor reserves the right to alter the scale to
fit the structure of the class.
How you acquire your grade (or the work you shall be doing)
I. Study Guides and Power Points Slides
For each section of the course a study guide – consisting of a series of questions and assignments --
will be given. The questions and assignments on these outlines will not be graded. However, the
material on these guides will be utilized in writing both the quizzes and the exams.
The power point slides used in lecture will also be made available on-line. So you do not need to
write down everything on these slides. It is important to note, though, that everything on the lecture
outlines is not listed on the power point slides. Therefore you need to come to class and pay
attention to what is being said.
II. Daily quizzes, Homework, and Reading Comprehension Quizzes
(30% of grade undergraduate students, 25% of grade graduate students)
At some point in virtually every class we will have at least one quiz. The quizzes are designed to
both review class material and prepare you to take the exams. The quizzes will be designed to
take less than 15 minutes of class time to complete.
In addition to quizzes, I may also assign homework. These assignments will encourage you to
better understand macroeconomic data.
Finally, I am very interested in each student coming to class prepared. To give you an incentive to be
prepared you will also be taking Reading Comprehension Quizzes. These may be given as in- class
or out of class assignments.
The top 60% of these assignments will count towards your final grade.
Note: You must take (not pass, just take) at least half of these assignments to pass the class.
III. The San Francisco Federal Reserve Simulation
(20% of grade undergraduates, 30% of grade graduates)
Note: Graduate students will be asked to do more with respect to the Simulation. What is meant by
“more” is still to be determined.
IV. Exams (50% of grade undergraduate students, 45% of grade graduate students)
Three exams are scheduled, two mid-terms and a final. Each exam will consist of both subjective
and objective questions. The subjective or essay questions will come directly from the lecture
outlines. The objective questions will be generally based upon the lecture outlines, the quizzes, and
Note on quizzes and exams: Given the above objective, I do not expect that you will forget material
soon after each exam.
The midterms will be worth 15% of your final grade. The final – which will be somewhat
comprehensive – will be worth 20% of your final grade. For graduate students, all exams will
be worth 15% of their final grade.
September ??? Conference Call with the San Francisco Federal Reserve
November 4 San Francisco Federal Reserve Symposium
Make-up quizzes will not be offered. If a quiz is missed this will count as one of the quizzes that are dropped
in the computing of this portion of your grade.
Make-up exams will work as follows: If an accepted excuse is offered prior to the exam in question, you will
be allowed to make-up the exam and receive full credit. You will receive, though, a different exam than that
which was offered in class. The instructor reserves the right to give the student an exam consisting of entirely
essay questions as a make-up exam. If an excuse comes after the exam in question, you will be charged one
letter grade (10% of grade) for each day it takes you to contact me. It is your responsibility to contact me in
the event of any difficulty you have with taking the exam.
Classroom (i.e. Professional) Conduct Class time is a scarce resource. Outside of office hours, this is the only time I have available to offer instruction to you of the course material. It is my responsibility to take the leadership in creating a classroom environment where optimal learning can take place. In addition, I also believe it is my responsibility to help students develop the social skills that are expected in a professional work atmosphere. Here are some expectations I have in order for us to create an effective, professional learning environment . ; Class begins at 4pm. Just as your future employer will expect you to arrive on time, it is my expectation that you will be in class at 4pm. ; Class ends when we are finished with that day’s subject matter. Until I have reached the end of lecture, do not leave the class. Furthermore, do not put your materials away before class has concluded. ; Students are not permitted to use cell phones or laptops during class (or any other electronic device). These technologies not only distract the user, but also the people around the user in the class. ; Do not read the newspaper or work on projects for other courses during class time. ; You are responsible for acquiring relevant notes from other students if you are late to or miss class.
If something is unclear to you, it probably means that several others have the same question. However, please
ask me the questions not your neighbor. In other words, no talking when I am talking. Likewise, no talking
when a fellow student “has the floor.” Professionals are courteous and respectful of each another.
If you are not comfortable asking questions in class, please come see me in my office, call me, or send me an
e-mail. My office is the Dixie Leavitt Business Building (#318) and the office number is 586-5477. You can
also contact me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you do contact me, please let me know which class you are
taking (I have over 200 students this semester in three different classes). Academic Integrity
Scholastic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. You are expected to
have read and understood the current issue of the student handbook (published by Student Services)
regarding student responsibilities and rights, and the intellectual property policy, for information about
procedures and about what constitutes acceptable on-campus behavior.
In addition, the School of Business has adopted an Academic Integrity Policy. This has been posted at my
website and each student is encouraged to read this policy.
Students with medical, psychological, learning, or other disabilities desiring academic adjustments,
accommodations, or auxiliary aids will need to contact the Southern Utah University Coordinator of
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), in Room 205C of the Sharwan Smith Center, or phone (435)
865-8022. SSD determines eligibility for and authorizes the provision of these services and aids.
VERY TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE:
; Brief Review of Great Depression and Great Recession
; The History of Money
; A History of Central Banking
; The Targets: Unemployment and Inflation
; An Introduction to Macroeconomic Theory
; The Great Depression
; The Great Recession
; History of the National Debt
; Why Economic Growth
; Economic Systems
; US Economic Growth and Presidential Elections
Information contained in this syllabus, other than the grading, late assignments, makeup work, and
attendance policies, may be subject to change with advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.
Emergency Management Statement
In case of emergency, the University's Emergency Notification System (ENS) will be activated. Students
are encouraged to maintain updated contact information using the link on the homepage of the mySUU
portal. In addition, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Emergency Response
Protocols posted in each classroom. Detailed information about the University's emergency management
plan can be found at http://www.suu.edu/emergency
HEOA Compliance Statement:
The sharing of copyrighted material through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, except as provided under U.S.
copyright law, is prohibited by law. Detailed information can be found at