Stumped by the Crisis? Brush Up on Financial Markets for Free Online

Last Updated Oct 27, 2008 1:29 PM EDT

  • Back to schoolThe Find: If you're still a little baffled by the intricacies of the financial markets behind the current crisis, brush up for free with online classes from eminent Yale economist Robert Schiller.
  • The Source: The FT Management blog.
The Takeaway: It's the best deal you're likely to come across all week: 26 classes comprising Schiller's Economics 252, an introduction to financial markets, for exactly zero dollars. If it's been a while since you cracked an economics textbook, or if you came to management through editorial, engineering or any other discipline without a strong background in economics, it could be worth your while to download Schiller's classes in either video file or mp3 format. The course:
Strives to offer understanding of the theory of finance and its relation to the history, strengths and imperfections of such institutions as banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other derivatives markets, and the future of these institutions over the next century.
Classes were filmed in the spring so there will be no direct references to the current crisis, however, as the FT points out, "there are lots of timeless insights into the psychological tics that influence investor behavior," including "one derived from a cruel experiment on pigeons." Other classes cover risk management and the pooling and hedging of risk, technology and finance, and a guest lecture from Carl Icahn. For those looking for a distraction from recent developments, other courses in everything from astronomy to Ancient Greek are available.

The Question: Grade your understanding of recent financial news: are you an A student or in need of remedial study?

(Image of back to school note Avolore, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.