Professor Shiller provides a description of the course, including its general theme, the relevant textbooks, as well as the interplay of his course with Professor Geanakoplos’s course “Economics 251–Financial Theory.” Finance, in his view, is a pillar of civilized society, dealing with the allocation of resources through space and time in order to manage big and important risks. After talking about finance as an occupation, he emphasizes the moral imperative to use wealth for the purposes of philanthropy, in the spirit of Andrew Carnegie, but also of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Subsequently, he introduces the guest speakers David Swensen, Yale University’s chief investment officer, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at American International Group (AIG) and current CEO of C.V. Starr & Co. and of Starr International, and Laura Cha, former vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong and of the government of the People’s Republic of China, and director of the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). Finally, he concludes with a description of the topics to be discussed in each lecture.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Spring 2011.