USF Professors Change Courses in Response to Recession

SunnyWong1_webA NUMBER OF USF PROFESSORS are making broad changes to their syllabi in light of the economic recession, a move intended to bring students the most relevant information.
“We now know that what we thought we knew, we didn’t,” said Professor of finance Richard Puntillo.

Where Puntillo used to focus on teaching students how Wall Street and banks profitably financed long-term assets with short-term borrowing, he now sees a bigger role for discussing the benefits of tempered financial regulation and for the Federal Reserve in proactively preventing economic bubbles in the first place.

“The unregulated markets gave rise to a phenomenal amount of innovation in the financial services sector in recent years,” Puntillo said. “That all came at a terrible cost in the form of falling home values, shrinking stock portfolios, and job losses at record highs.”

Assistant Professor of economics Sunny Wong minimizes textbook theory in his graduate level Money and Banking course to spend more time on the actual news of the ongoing crisis. “We talked about Lehman Brothers and the problems that its collapse could create and discussed the Federal Reserve’s efforts to recapitalize Citibank all as it was happening,” Wong said.

Economics Professor Hartmut Fischer refocused his courses from issues of international trade relations to the inner workings of the international financial system, the role of central banks, and the advantages and responsibilities accrued to the United States as the central hub of the world economy.