ECO 322 • Money and Banking
This course is about economic wealth: its various forms (called assets), the institutions that create, own, and exchange wealth, the government policies that regulate the behavior of these institutions, and the social origins and consequences of these assets, institutions, and policies. Financial assets-including but not limited to money-exist as stores of value, linking the production of goods in the present to the production and consumption of goods in the future. The focus of this course is on the challenge wealth presents to society: the need to ensure thta the public can assess with reasonable accuracy the various rates of return on financial assets. So long as financial assets, on average, meet people's expectations, people will seek to acquire and be willing to hold them. The resulting demand for financial assets is simultaneously a reflection of the public's confidence in them and a principal determinant of their rates of return. The origins and evolution of assets, institutions, and policies may be understood as an endless search for socially effective and privately profitable means of managing the risky task of betting on the future.