The Federal Reserve System: Policy and Practice

  • 7-weeks
  • 1.5 credits
  • Prerequisite: MBA Core

In this course we will study the role and performance of Central Banks (particularly the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan) and other international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund. We begin with the Federal Reserve System (the Fed). We will explore questions like: what are its primary objectives, functions, and activities? What are the consequences of changes in Fed policy for the U.S. economy? What can we learn about the Fed that might help us predict its future behavior? We then analyze the structure, the policy, and the performance of the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Bank of Japan (BoJ). Finally, we will analyze the problems central banks in emerging economies face in particular, and take a look at international financial crises and the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the present international financial architecture.

This course has two parts: The first half consists of classes primarily in lecture format covering material that serves as a background in the analyses of monetary policy and is followed by a midterm exam. The second half of the course consists of student's small group presentations dealing with specific issues of monetary policy. The list of topics and initial references are given in the schedule. The groups will be assigned in the first class. Overall, the presentation should not exceed 40 minutes to leave sufficient time for classroom discussion.

  • The Evolution of Central Banking
  • The FED- an Introduction
  • Monetary Policy Tools
  • The FED and Interest Rates
  • The FED and Inflation
  • The Future Federal Fund Rate-is it a good predictor?
  • Transmission Channels of Monetary Policy
  • The Taylof Rule
  • The European Central Bank System
  • The Bank of Japan
  • Should an Emerging Economy have its own Central Bank?
  • The Role of International Financial Architecture

The required text is: The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, Alternate Edition 1st Ed. 2007 by Frederic S. Miskin, Pearson Addison Wesley Publishers. The book is available at the campus bookstores and on reserve in the library. We will cover material from several chapters of the textbook. You may also visit the website for the textbook under, which contains useful information and further web links.

The booklet Central Banking in Theory and Practice by Alan S. Blinder, 1998, is a very helpful background reading. Blinder is a leading academic monetary economist and former Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Fed.