Financial Markets, Risk Management, and the Regulatory Environment (RMRR) 699

Financial Markets, Risk Management, and the Regulatory Environment

RMRR 699 Course Cover

Delivery Mode: Elective

Credits: 6

Prerequisites: All MBA program students must complete Phase 1 before registering in electives. Accelerated MBA and transfer students must have prior knowledge from at least an introductory university-level course in economics or finance.

Faculty: Faculty of Business

Program: Master of Business Administration

Manager: Saktinil Roy, PhD

Course Overview

RMRR 699 is a 10-week, six-credit course. The workload is the equivalent of taking two online electives at the same time.

This course will introduce several types of financial markets and institutions and the way they function. Financial markets, such as the stock market, bond market, money market, and mortgage market, are where savings by households, businesses, and government are transferred to people who have a shortage of funds but are able to put their borrowings to productive uses. Financial institutions, such as chartered banks, credit unions, investment banks, mutual funds, and finance companies, act as a bridge between the savers and the end borrowers. This course will explain how such institutions manage risk with different types of assets that can be bought and sold in financial markets, a large majority of them being both within and across national borders.

RMRR 699 will also introduce the following:

  • The roles of the central bank and the types of tools it can use to stabilize financial markets and the economy.
  • The regulatory environment within which financial transactions take place.
  • How prudential regulation constrains chartered banks and other financial institutions from taking excessive risks and thus controls the level of risk in the whole financial system.
  • What can be done to improve the regulatory environment without having significant negative impacts on the incentives for business.

The course will also describe the most common drivers of financial crises and the role of prudential regulation in averting such crises. Financial crises are of special relevance after the global financial crisis of 2007–2009.

An applied managerial approach will be adopted by presenting case applications throughout the course. These are expected to familiarize students with the problems that management staff of financial institutions routinely face and solve. The course will also provide the necessary foundation for other finance electives.

All individuals and businesses interact frequently with financial institutions to manage their day-to-day operations. This course will be useful for anyone looking to build a solid understanding of the financial world and to be better able to manage risk related to financial markets in personal and business situations.

Method of Instruction

In normal times, this course has a blended delivery mode, where nine weeks of the course are paced, asynchronous, and online, and one week (the sixth week) of the course is delivered in-residence. However, in 2021, this course will be delivered entirely online due to the current pandemic situation, without any synchronous activities. In all ten weeks, students access course information and materials, conduct group discussions, complete teamwork projects, and submit coursework electronically. Students, faculty, and staff are all connected, creating a dynamic interactive learning environment while giving students the support and service they need.

Course Outline

Week 1: Overview of the Financial System and an Introduction to the Role of Interest Rates

Week 2: Determination of Interest Rates and the Effects of Risk and Term Structures

Week 3: Financial Markets and the Role of Financial Institutions

Week 4: Money Market, Bond Market, and Stock Market

Week 5: Mortgage Market, Foreign Exchange Market, and the International Financial System

Week 6: Banking, Management of Financial Institutions, Financial Crises, and advanced topics related to Financial Stability

Week 7: Financial Regulation, Central Banking, and the Tools of Monetary Policy

Week 8: The Mutual Fund Industry, Insurance Companies, Investment Banks, and Other Financial Intermediaries

Week 9: Risk Management in Financial Institutions and Hedging with Financial Derivatives

Week 10: Course Wrap-Up

Course Objectives

Students will develop an understanding of the following:

  • The meaning and role of interest rates
  • The working of financial markets and if such markets are efficient
  • Different types of financial institutions, their asset and liability structures, and the way they manage risks
  • The functioning of different types of financial markets:
    • Money market
    • Bond market
    • Stock market
    • Mortgage market
    • Foreign exchange market
  • The most common causes of financial crises and their effects
  • The nature and role of financial regulation
  • Central banking and the tools of monetary policy for stabilizing the economy

Student Evaluation

The grade for this course is based on individual and group assignments as well as contributions to collaborative online and in-class discussions.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.