IFEP: Central Banking Focus Area

The Central Banking focus area provides the building blocks for state-of-the-art central bank intervention by studying the goals, tools, and governance structure for conventional and unconventional monetary policy and financial regulation.

Core Courses

1. Students must complete the following courses (12 points):
INAF U6018International Finance Monetary Theory3
INAF U6045International Capital Markets3
INAF U6862Unconventional Monetary Policy3
or Financial Stability and Macro-Prudential Regulation
INAF U6095Financial Regulation3
2. Students must also select one of the following Central Banking Elective Courses (3 points):
INAF U6022Economics of Finance
INAF U6094Reining in the Big Banks: Supervision and Regulation
INAF U6359Global Economic Governance
INAF U8099Emerging Market Investment Climate
INAF U8454Investment Strategies in Developing Countries
INAF U8675Emerging Capital Markets: Theory Practice
INAF U8682Emerging Financial Markets
INAF U8685Asian Financial Markets
INAF U8686Japanese Economy: Markets and Economy Policy
REGN U6300The Economics of European Integration
REGN U6415Financial Issues in Latin America
REGN U6629Chinese Financial Markets

IFEP - International Central Banking Track Courses

Core Courses

INAF U6018 International Finance & Monetary Theory. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track, APEA
IFEP students receive registration priority; Pre-req: SIPA U6401

This is a "methods" course meant to provide students with the analytic tools necessary to think through "real life" international economic policy situations. The class is primarily meant for those interested in working at international financial institutions, the foreign-service, Wall Street, or the financial press. Lectures will, in part, be fairly rigorous though, if the student has taken first year economics, knows basic algebra, and (most importantly) can navigate graphs, he/she will be able to handle the material fairly easily. While theory will at times dominate, its policy relevance will be illustrated through i) l0-minute discussions at the beginning of every class on topical issues; ii) continuous references to recent economic/market episodes meant to illustrate the theoretical material; iii) reading short pieces of Wall Street research that cover timely market topics; and iv) the term paper that will be graded on how well theory and policy are integrated.  In terms of topics, the first half of the semester will develop an analytic framework that thinks though the concept of the "exchange rate" in terms of its (short and long term) determinants as well as the interaction between the exchange rate and macro variables such as growth, inflation, and monetary policy.  The second half of the semester we will investigate individual themes including exchange rate regimes; BoP crises and contagion; global imbalances and the savings glut; the role of FX in "inflation targeting" regimes; and capital markets and emerging markets finance.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2017 001 77283 Daniel Waldman M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6045 International Capital Markets. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: International Finance Track, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, APEA

The course will acquaint you modern international capital markets. You can expect to learn a substantial amount of up-to-date detail and some useful theory. Specifically, we will survey global markets for credit, equity, foreign exchange, foreign exchange derivatives, futures, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and asset backed securities. In each case, we will learn the highlights of payments and settlement, documentation, regulation, applications for end-users, related economic theory and pricing models. The class will cover options and asset pricing theory; however, the treatment will be informal and designed to help develop intuition. One lecture each will be devoted to international banking (with an emphasis on changing capital regulation), investment banks, and hedge funds.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2017 001 22201 Richard Robb Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 R01 60780 F 9:00am - 10:50am
403 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6862 Unconventional Monetary Policy. 3 Points.

Prerequisites: SIPA U6401
Corequisites: INAF U6018 & INAF U6022

The course begins with a review of central banks’ monetary policy goals and objectives, followed by an overview of how central banks set and implement monetary policy in normal economic and financial market conditions.  The bulk of the course will focus on how central banks adapt their policy rules and tools in the face of extraordinary financial market or economic turmoil.    Different types of unconventional tools will be discussed and analyzed, with particular focus on the design and the effectiveness of various unconventional policy tools.    Examples of the use unconventional policy tools – both more and less successful – across jurisdictions will be discussed in the latter half of the course.   The course finishes with discussions of several important, and timely dilemmas:  where is the “line” between unconventional monetary policies and traditional fiscal policy actions;  what difficulties do central banks face in handling economic side effects and the political consequences of extraordinary policy,  and what are the challenges of  returning monetary policy to (a new) normal.

INAF U6095 Financial Regulation. 3 Points.

In this course we will study financial market failures due to externalities, incomplete information and financial fragility and we will investigate the ways that a benevolent government might use regulation to improve matters. We will also consider theories about the behavior of regulators drawn from political and behavioral economics. We will examine the difficulties associated with designing financial regulation. We will analyze how regulatory failures contributed to the recent financial crises and discuss post-crises attempts at regulatory reform.  

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2017 001 27199 Anne Sibert, Willem Buiter Th 9:00am - 10:50am
413 International Affairs Bldg

Elective Courses

INAF U6022 Economics of Finance. 3 Points.

Category: MIA, MPA, MIA/MPA Core: Financial Management, EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track, APEA, Management

Finance deals with the theory of how households and firms use capital markets to allocate resources over time. The course will equip you with a solid theoretical foundation you can use to evaluate projects, investments and funding decisions. It will further acquaint you with the details of debt, equity and derivatives markets so you can apply your knowledge to practical problems

INAF U8099 Emerging Market Investment Climate. 3 Points.

Category: MIA Core: Interstate Relations, EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track
Pre-reqs: SIPA U6401 or PEPM U6401

Want to learn about the issues and policies that are particularly relevant for the growth of the private sector in emerging markets? Want to discuss these with guest speakers from international organizations? Want to produce a report identifying emerging market vulnerability to economic troubles? Have you taken a course on macroeconomics? Then this course is for you.


As a former World Bank country economist I will share with you my work experiences and, while reviewing some basic macroeconomic principles and discussing case studies, I will help you produce a macro-financial report on a particular emerging market economy similar to those produced by financial institutions and international organizations do (e.g., International Monetary Funds surveillance country reports or Article IV reports).

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2017 001 73599 Sara Calvo W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
1302 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U8454 Investment Strategies in Developing Countries. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: SIPA U6200

From the practical perspective of a foreign institution investing outside its home market, this course is geared to help answer these questions. Moreover, the class hones students' fluency in developing country economic fundamentals, available asset classes, and investment strategies. In addition, the course explores the historical background and underpinnings of global finance's transformation over the last twenty years and their impact on emerging market capital formation. Special attention will be paid to analyzing the political, social, and economic landscapes of developing countries and their market implications. All of this will be addressed within a larger cyclical understanding of technology, global development, and liquidity flows.

INAF U8675 Emerging Capital Markets: Theory & Practice. 3 Points.

Category: MIA Core: Interstate Relations, EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track
Pre-req: SIPA U6401; IFEP students receive registration priority

Prerequisites: SIPA U6401, PEPM U6105 or EMPA U8216

The goal of this course is to teach students about the historical relationships between financial risk, capital structure and legal and policy issues in emerging markets. Our strategy will be to develop a model of how and why international capital flows to emerging market countries and to use the model to examine various topics in the history of international financing from the 1820's to the present. Students will identify patterns in investor and borrower behavior, evaluate sovereign capital structures, and analyze sovereign defaults, including the debt negotiation process during the various debt crises of the past 175 years. We will focus primarily on Latin America, emerging Asia, and Russia, although the lessons will be generalized to cover all emerging market countries.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2017 001 73501 Bruce Wolfson, Jorge Mariscal T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
407 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U8682 Emerging Financial Markets. 3 Points.

Category: IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track
Priority given to IFEP - Finance Students

Prerequisites: SIPA U6401, PEPM U6105, or EMPA U8216

This course explores the performance of the financial systems of emerging market countries (EMs) over the past three decades, and historically, both from the standpoint of market participants and public policy makers. EMs are countries that have decided to "emerge" from a condition of financial underdevelopment (sometimes called "financial repression"). EMs engage in a combination of market reforms which include: foreign trade opening, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and the liberalization and deregulation of domestic financial systems and international capital markets. Emergence typically involves a variety of such changes, as well as related institutional changes that support those efforts (reforms of the legal and regulatory systems, the corporate laws, and the fiscal and monetary systems).   This course investigates the determinants of successful or unsuccessful emergence. Said differently, the course helps to identify factors that make emergence more or less likely to succeed. Failure of emergence often takes the form of a major financial crisis, in which the failings of the EM policy regime are brought to light. Thus, an important part of analyzing the success or failure of emergence entails the analysis of EM financial crises.

SIPA U6200 Accounting for International & Public Affairs. 3 Points.

Category: MIA, MPA, MIA/MPA Core: Financial Management

The purpose of this course is to enable you to become an informed user of financial information.  To be properly informed you need to understand financial statements, the note disclosures and the language of accounting and financial reporting.  We will focus on the three major financial statements, (balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows), which companies prepare for use by management and external parties.  We will examine the underlying concepts that go into the preparation of these financial statements as well as specific accounting rules that apply when preparing financial statements.  As we gain an understanding of the financial information, we will look at approaches to analyze the financial strength and operations of an entity.  We will use actual financial statements to understand how financial information is presented.  In each area, we will contrast U.S. accounting rules (GAAP) with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2017 001 77047 Alan Brott T Th 11:00am - 12:30pm
411 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 002 78297 Alan Brott T Th 2:15pm - 3:45pm
411 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 003 83497 Norman Bartczak W 1:10pm - 4:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 004 88346 Norman Bartczak W 6:10pm - 9:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 R01 68148 F 11:00am - 12:50pm
410 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 R02 71346 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
407 International Affairs Bldg
Fall 2017 R03 72096 F 9:00am - 10:50am
410 International Affairs Bldg

REGN U6300 The Economics of European Integration. 3 Points.

Category: IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP, Regional

A policy-oriented but theory-based course on the current state of economic integration in the European Union.  Topics include: Brexit scenarios, design failures of the Eurozone and steps to a Banking Union; monetary policy of the ECB; Greek and other peripheral bailouts; macroeconomic performance, unemployment and EU labor markets; cohesion and the refugee crisis; fiscal policies and fiscal rules; tax and competition policy for high tech firms in a digital economy; EU trade policy and the future of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).