CCGL9030 Global Issues

Financial Crises: History, Solutions, and Our Economic Futures

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth (SCCE)

Course Description

Financial crises are common and occurred quite frequently in the history in market economies. What is a financial crisis, though, and what are its possible causes? Can it be anticipated and hence prevented? What government policies can be implemented to alleviate its impact?

A financial crisis can occur in the form of a currency crisis, a banking crisis or both. For example, the financial crisis in Asia in 1997-1998 was a currency crisis whereas the global crisis in 2008 was a banking crisis. The most recent crisis created by Covid-19 is having enormous impacts on national, global, and personal finances, and the structure of capitalism.

This course aims to bring to students an exploratory account of a financial crisis and an understanding of the conceptual underpinnings of the issues that lie at the heart of it. The course will focus on brief histories of crises around the world, means of addressing such crises, how to develop alternatives to this cycle of “crashes”, and how students can best prepare for their financial futures.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the socio-economic background and the causes for financial crises.
  2. Formulate critical questions and reflections regarding issues of economic development.
  3. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of the various government and corporate policies for the rescue of the faltering economy and assess how these policies in one country can impact others in the global economy.
  4. Assess how a crisis would form and shape the future path of development for the global, local and personal economy.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Course will be offered twice:
Section 1 – First semester (Wed); Section 2 – First semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self-study 50
Video viewing 10
Assessment: Individual report on group project 10
Assessment: Group presentation of group project 20
Assessment: Case summaries and homework 20
Assessment: Take-home test 4
Total: 150

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Class participation and tutorial discussions 10
Homework and case summaries 30
Group project and presentation 20
Group project report 10
Take-home test 30

Required Reading

The following cases and reading materials will be assigned. The list will be updated as deemed appropriate. 

  • Alfaro, L., & White, H. (2013). Currency wars. Harvard Business School.
  • Carlsson-Szlezak, P., Reeves, M., & Swartz, P. (2020, March 3). What coronavirus could mean for the global economy. Harvard Business Review.
  • Greenspan, A. (2010, Spring). The crisis. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.
  • Mathis, J., Tuzzolino, F., & Ramaswamy, V. (2011). Global financial crises and the future of securitization. Harvard Business School Case.
  • Mishkin, F. S. (2009). Is monetary policy effective during financial crises?. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 99(2), 573-577.
  • Moss, D., & Bolton, C. (2011). Fighting a dangerous financial fire: The federal response to the crisis of 2007-2009. Harvard Business School Case.
  • Pill, H., Tella, R. D., & Schlefer, J. (2008). Financial crisis in Asia: 1997-1998. Harvard Business School Case.
  • Rotembery, J. J. (2008). Subprime meltdown: American housing and global financial turmoil. Harvard Business School Case.
  • Segel, A. I., & Creo, B. (2010). Understanding the credit crisis of 2007-2008. Harvard Business School Background Note.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr K.S. Tse
Faculty of Business and Economics (Finance)
Tel: 2857 8636
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr K.S. Tse
Faculty of Business and Economics (Finance)
Tel: 2857 8636