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Beginning in Spring 2024, NYU Stern will offer an MBA course in financial history, taught by Professors Acharya and Tuckman, titled “Financial History of the United States: From the Panic of 1907 to Silicon Valley Bank.” 

The goal of this course is for students to understand how history, i.e., people and events of the past, have shaped the present-day financial system in the United States, which encompasses its markets, institutions, and regulatory frameworks.

The course is organized as the evolution over time of four segments of the financial system: currency and monetary policy; loans and banking; securities and investment banking; and derivatives. The course begins with an overview of the financial system in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, as a backdrop to the Panic of 1907, and ends with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in 2023.

Two themes will be woven through the segments and across time. First, financial markets in the United States have mobilized great quantities of capital from individual savers and investors to consumer and corporate borrowers. Second, there have been several iterations of boom-and-bust in asset prices, bank credit and market finance, which can be traced to permutations of monetary policy, leverage-seeking by individual and businesses, political economy, and regulatory postures.

The course requires a significant amount of reading of both contemporary and historical writing. Students will also learn how to read statutes and their implementing regulations. The purpose of the readings is to be able to critique the past decisions of market participants and government officials with an appropriate appreciation of the financial, economic, and political contexts – domestic and global – in which they made those decisions.