TC 357  -  Finance, Fiction and Film

There is a considerable tradition in literature and film of setting stories against the backdrop of financial market calamities and other corporate or general economic crises.  Often, these plot devices represent accurate portrayals of prevailing capital market conditions, but just as frequently they suggest exaggerated views of economic realities intended to support the author’s underlying purpose in telling the story.  What financial economic concepts does a discerning “consumer” of these fictional treatments need to know to make this distinction? What must we understand about how investors accumulate and manage their wealth in order to appreciate that the events in some classic novels never could happen today while those in other works of contemporary fiction very likely could?  How does the way in which financial ideas are depicted in fiction reflect the social, political, and economic mood of the times? 

The purpose of this seminar is to establish and put into practice many of the finance and economic principles required to evaluate critically the growing branch of literary fiction and film having plots that depend on understanding how capital markets work.  Among the set of concepts that define these principles are investment portfolio theory, equity and fixed-income securities and markets, derivative security strategies, economic allocation and foreign exchange systems, and corporate governance standards.  The ultimate goal of the course is to develop in students a solid grounding in modern finance precepts that will lead them to a deeper understanding of and ability to analyze closely how those themes are applied in modern literature and film.

A prerequisite for this course is enrollment in the Plan II Honors Program.


For more information about this class, you can download a copy of the course syllabus (PDF Version).

Students currently registered for TC 357 can obtain course handouts and other files by entering the course restricted area via Canvas.

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