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FINA 4323.001 Financial Markets, Institutions, and Instruments Fall 2012

Instructor: Prakash Pai, Ph.D.

Class Time: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, in MB 2270

Office: MB 2234

Office Hours: 3:30 pm till 5:30 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays

5:00 pm till 8:00 pm, Wednesdays

And Other Times by Appointment

Phone: (432) 552-2192

Fax: (432) 552-2174

Email: pai_p@utpb.edu


This course is a comprehensive survey of institutions and instruments of modern financial markets. Topics include depository institutions, non-depository financial intermediaries, investment banking, underwriting and issuance of securities, brokerage services, government and corporate debt, determinants of interest rates, mortgage-backed securities and other types of securitized assets.

Class sessions will consist of lectures, discussions, reviews, and analysis of topical/current situation relating to financial markets (existing and evolving), the institutions that operate in these financial markets, the instruments (traditional as well as exotic) used by various market participants, and the interaction of all three of these areas, especially in the United States. International developments will also be covered, as appropriate. Students will be specifically informed of any changes to this syllabus, made at the Instructor's discretion, for tractability and other reasons.


Students should be able to understand and appreciate the fundamentals of securities markets, types of financial institutions in those markets, and the types of securities created and traded in those markets. At the very least, the course will be a survey of institutions and instruments of modern financial markets; additionally, throughout the semester, current events and topical developments, especially related to the course, will be analyzed in the light of textbook materials.


Levinson, Marc, Guide to Financial Markets,” Fifth Edition, 2010, Wiley (Required)

Shirreff, David, Dealing With Financial Risk,” 2004, Wiley (Required)

Coggan, Philip, Guide to Hedge Funds,” Second Edition, 2010, Wiley (Strongly Preferred)

Bloomberg Businessweek, published each week by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., New York, NY. (Optional BUT Very Strongly Recommended)

OTHER ITEMS (Optional/Strongly Recommended):

Current investment related information from publications such as Bloomberg Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times (of London), business sections of national/local newspapers, and financial TV programs especially those on Bloomberg, CNBC, and CNN, on cable. Also watch The Nightly Business Report (weekdays) on PBS—where and if available and Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo (weekends) on CNBC, and similar financial programs on CNBC, Fox News and/or Business News Channel, etc., where available. (Optional/Strongly Recommended)


The prerequisite for this course is FINA 3320. It is the student's responsibility to ensure proper enrollment in classes. You are advised to review your official class schedule as soon as possible to ensure proper enrollment. Should there be an error in your class schedule, you must correct it with your advisor or advising office. If registration errors are not corrected and you continue to attend and participate in classes for which you are not officially enrolled, you are advised now that you will not receive a grade (for such classes) at the conclusion of the semester.


All students are expected to attend class and to participate in class discussions. Be prepared to contribute to class discussions. During each class session, students will be required (and may even be specifically called upon) to comment on and discuss current events affecting various financial markets, the institutions operating in, and having an impact on, the various financial markets, and the financial instruments created and/or used by market participants, in the United States (or in other countries, when appropriate). These comments and discussions should invariably be backed by data and specific material from textbook and in-class discussions.

Everyone is expected to help foster an active learning environment especially during the regularly scheduled class period. Accordingly, any disruption of, or even an attempt to disrupt, the learning process will not be tolerated, under any circumstance. Use of devises such as cell phones, laptops, and PDAs; reading of non-class materials; and/or otherwise engaging in any non-academic, non-class-related activities are just some of the items that cause disruption of class conduct. Therefore, please ensure that cell phones are either turned off or set on vibrate, etc. Use of a laptop or similar devise, which usually leads to distracting other students, and the Instructor, will not be tolerated. If someone does need to use such devises, he/she must sit in the very last row (preferably at the corners), if and only if such use will not distract anyone else. During presentations, quizzes, and similar point-based activities, use of cell phones, laptops, etc., is strictly prohibited.

Attendance will not be taken at each class. However, a good attendance record is necessary to achieve a high grade in the course, since a considerable amount of topical items discussed in class will be tested during various quizzes, class participation, in-class work, and other activities. Although attendance is not mandatory, the points earned for various in-class work, quizzes, etc., usually reflect a student's attendance/attentiveness during class. Therefore, an initial reading of all assigned reading is recommended before attending class, and a second reading after the class session is strongly suggested.

The course-related, contemporary issues in the latest issues of Business Week and/or similar leading publications will usually be the starting point of class discussions as also the current developments in the financial markets, institutions, etc.

The Daily Assignment Sheet (DAS) indicates both the minimum required reading from the required text and the tentative course coverage. Note that the letter “M” in the DAS refers to chapters from the “Markets” book by Levinson, and the letter “R” refers to chapters from the “Financial Risk” book by Shirreff (all references to the Shirreff book are bold-faced & italicized, in the DAS).

If a student must miss a class, he/she should get notes, etc., from a fellow student. Each student is responsible for all assignments distributed, compliance with announcements, etc., irrespective of his/her class attendance. In the case of extended absences or extenuating circumstances, please discuss the situation with the Instructor as soon as possible. Everyone is encouraged to fully utilize Instructor's Office Hours to his/her advantage.


The total points available for this course will be spread out as indicated below:

Points Percent. of Total

Individual Paper 100 10.00%

Group Paper 250 25.00%

Assignments 150 15.00%

Scheduled Quizzes 150 15.00%

Class Participation/In-class Work 350 35.00%

TOTAL 1000 100.00%

Final course letter grades will be assigned as under, based only on the points earned. The final letter grades may be subject to revision/curving, at the discretion of the Instructor.

Grade For Points Earned (Rough indicator)

A 900 or more points 90% or higher

B Between 800 and 899 points 80% - 89%

C Between 700 and 799 points 70% - 79%

D Between 600 and 699 points 60% - 69%

F 599 or lesser points Below 60%

Individual Paper:

Students will work on an individual paper, of their choice, which will deal with analyzing either a unique or a group of financial institution(s) or financial instrument(s).

This paper will be worth 100 (one hundred) points. Other details of this activity will be announced in detail in class.

GROUP Paper:

Students will also work on a detailed paper, as a group, which will deal with analyzing a financial market in the United States and in any one of the developed or developing country, in addition to a leading financial institution and/or a financial instrument predominant in the selected market.

In addition to submitting the final paper, the groups will also make two presentations to the class—a preliminary, brief presentation during the first part of the semester and a final presentation, with some groups presenting on Thursday, December 06, 2012, during normal class time, and others on Thursday, December 13, 2012, between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm, the usually scheduled final exam day for this class.

The group paper will be worth 250 (two hundred fifty) points. Further details of this activity will be announced in detail in class.


To encourage students to keep up with class coverage, several assignments will be handed out, usually about a week before they are due. The exact due date will be specifically indicated in the “Assignment Sheet” that will be handed out. Seven (07) such assignments (indicated in the DAS as “A #01,” etc.) are due and must be turned in at or before the start of class (for full credit) during the semester on the scheduled due dates.

Each scheduled assignment will be worth about 25 (twenty five) points. However, the available points for the assignments will be a maximum of 150 points. Late assignments will not be accepted under any circumstance.


Almost every two weeks, there will be a quiz to test students on most of the recently covered textbook materials, market developments in the United States and in other countries, as well as other issues specifically discussed in class. Seven (07) such quizzes will be administered during the semester (indicated in the DAS as “Q #01,” etc.).

Each quiz will be worth about 25 (twenty five) points. However, available points for the quizzes will be a maximum of 150 (one hundred fifty) points. There will be NO make-up quizzes given, under any circumstance.


To keep up with regular class coverage, there will be some unannounced, in-class work (either for credit, or just to reinforce textbook materials and concepts) and pop-quizzes. Each such in-class work (if for credit) and the pop-quiz will be worth at least 2 points, but may range between 5 and 15 (or more) points. For obvious reasons, the contents and/or scheduled times of each such activity/quiz will not be announced, until a few minutes before they are to be administered.

There will be no make-ups of these in-class work/pop-quizzes, under any circumstances. Class Participation, In-class work, and Pop-Quizzes will be for a total of 350 points.

In the event of total points for the administered in-class work, and/or mini-quizzes aggregating to less than 350, the remainder of the un-awarded points will be added to the student’s earned points at the end of the semester. Such addition will however be pro-rated approximately based on multiplying the raw un-awarded points by a “Pro-rata Fraction.”

Note that the Pro-rata Fraction = [0.10 (Percentage of In-Class Work attempted)] + [0.45 (Percentage of assignments submitted for full credit)] + [0.45 (Percentage of scheduled quizzes taken)]

The remainder of the un-awarded points will be tentatively pro-rated, unless the student shows continuously extraordinary performance (which would be equivalent to scoring at least 90% of the available points) on all or most of the attempted in-class work, assignments, and scheduled quizzes—as long as the student does not miss more than a couple of the for-credit activities in each category.


It is the University policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact their instructors to discuss their individual needs for accommodations. Any student who feels that he or she may require assistance for any type of physical or learning disability should consult with your Instructor as soon as possible.

To request academic accommodations for a disability, contact the Director of the PASS Office in the Mesa Building Room 1160, 432-552-2631. Students are required to provide documentation of disability to the PASS Office prior to receiving accommodations.


Each semester credit hour at UT Permian Basin represents a commitment on an average of three hours of “out of class” preparation and one hour of class attendance (or its equivalent) per week. For example, enrolling in a three-semester credit hour class commits the student to a total of twelve hours of work per week. Students who are employed or who have family responsibilities are especially encouraged to bear this commitment in mind and to seek guidance from their academic advisors in determining a suitable academic schedule. (Please also refer to the latest UT Permian Basin Undergraduate Catalog).


The use of the intellectual property of others without attributing it to them is considered a serious academic offense. Cheating or plagiarism will automatically result in receiving a failing grade for the work and/or course. In most cases, it will be a “strike-one-and-you-are-out” policy, and the failing or lower grade, at the discretion of the Instructor, can apply to either the item (examination, assignment, etc.) in question, or the entire course. Repeat offenses will certainly result in dismissal from the university. Please refer to UTPB Student Guide (on the UTPB website) for further details.


During the course of the semester, there may be some opportunity to gain “extra credit,” and details will be announced in class, usually with adequate advance notice. These events might pertain to attending some of the seminars organized by UTPB’s Career Services Center (details TBA) or other similar activities.

However, it might be prudent for students not to rely on much “extra credit” to boost their letter grades! Others events might pertain to attending some of the seminars organized by UTPB’s recognized student clubs, etc. Other details and events will be announced in class.

The maximum extra credit will be capped at 40 (forty) points during the semester. If you are in more than on of this Instructor’s classes, you will have the option—at the end of the semester—of using the extra credit points earned for the benefit of any one of the classes or to apportion the earned points between the classes.


Events of recent years have, unfortunately, resulted in radical changes in the way we do things these days. Everyone needs to be fully aware of his or her surroundings and be prepared at all times to respond appropriately. Within the first couple of weeks of the semester, students will be shown a short film, “Shots Fired on Campus” on the UTPB website, about how to deal with an active shooter incident. This short film clip might also be shown to you at other events during the first couple of weeks of the semester, or in other classes.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to watch this clip, at least once, if not more often, and to become familiar with the events and recommendations made in the clip. It is always better to be proactively well prepared for any unforeseen events, rather than merely react to such events in an ad hoc manner—usually under stressful conditions.

If, for any reason anyone is not able to view the above item in class or on the UTPB website, etc., please contact your instructor or the University Police Department, who will be glad to make arrangements for you to view that short film.

Everyone is also encouraged to enroll in the UTPB’s “Emergency Notification System” at the earliest. Details of this can be found at the bottom of the UTPB home page, and registration usually takes just a couple of minutes.

08/28 Course & Self Introductions, Business Week info, Group Formation, Etc.

01-M Why Markets Matter 001-013

____________________________________________________________________________08/30 ---R Financial Risk 001-004 A #01

____________________________________________________________________________09/04 07-M Equity Markets 132-146 Q #01


09/06 01-R Growth of Markets 007-015


09/11 02-R Market Theory 016-022 IP Outline


09/13 07-M Market Efficiency 147-168 A #02


09/18 09-M Derivatives 218-235 Q #02


09/20 03-R Derivatives & Leverage 023-033

____________________________________________________________________________09/25 04-R Temples to Risk Management 034-043 GP Outline


09/27 02-M Foreign Exchange Markets 014-031 A #03


10/02 05-R Models for Everyman 044-057 Q #03


10/04 02-M Currency Valuations 031-036

03-M Money Markets 037-046


10/09 06-R Credit Models 058-063 IP Update


10/11 03-M Agency Notes 047-057 A #04

04-M Bond Markets 058-066


10/16 04-M Bond Market Changes 067-082 Q #04


10/18 04-M Bond Spreads, Etc. 082-093


10/23 Preliminary Group Presentations (All) GP Update


10/25 07-R Firm-Wide Risk Management 064-072 A #05


10/30 08-R Basel 2 073-082 Q #05

Last Day for “W” is October 31, 2012

11/01 05-M Securitization 094-110


11/06 09-R Liquidity, Funding, Etc. 083-091


11/08 05-M ABCP & Structured Finance 111-116 A #06

06-M International Fixed Income Markets 117-125


11/13 06-M International Swaps Markets 126-132 Q #06

08-M Hedging & Speculation 169-174


11/15 10-R ART Exhibitions 092-102

11-R Sibylline Books 103-107


11/20 08-M Futures 174-187


11/22 Thanksgiving Break—No Class


11/27 08-M Commodity & Other Futures 187-200 Q #07


11/29 12-R Scripts for Crisis 108-115 A #07

13-R What Lies Ahead 116-120


12/04 08-M Options 200-217


12/06 Final Group Presentations—Part I


12/13 Final Group Presentations—Part II

(From 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm)

FINA 4323.001/Fall 2012 Page of

This is a preliminary version of the regular syllabus and is merely for informational purposes


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