Cross listed as undergraduate course FIN 709
This course is a rigorous and analytical study of a wide range of topics in the fixed income arena. It focuses on securities (mainly bonds), and things that can look like securities (mainly loans) that promise an ongoing and consistent cash flow (hence: “fixed income”). The valuations of these things are influenced by interest rates and credit risk. The course is focused on the concepts and tools that are important to practitioners and investors who want to use these securities, whether the issuer or the investor. It includes a study of the markets in which these securities trade. While the cash flows of fixed income securities are contractually specified, the valuation of bonds is particularly challenging given interest rate movements, credit risk, and embedded optionality.
Additionally, as part of an examination of structured products, the course will examine some basic elements of real estate finance, particularly the process of creating and valuing residential mortgages.
Further, the course acknowledges that much of the controversy regarding the 2008 Financial Crisis has been directed at the mortgage market. Given that the first name of this course is “mortgage”, we will take a deep dive into that period and examine the underlying issues regarding that global crisis.
The class, by its nature, requires a moderate level of quantitative skill, but more importantly it will require consistent focus. In the end, we want you to not just know about interest rates, creditworthiness, bonds, and bond markets, but we want you to know what these things mean and how you can use the information