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2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV2421U  Finance, Corporations and The Good Society

English Title
Finance, Corporations and The Good Society

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 45
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Gudrun Johnsen - Department of Accounting (AA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 15-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
  • Provide economic rationales for the existence of financial markets and institutions and analyze the key functions and interrelations of between financial markets, corporations and government
  • Draw lessons from financial crisis history
  • Discuss and debate the recent global trends in financial markets.
  • Identify the economic importance of corporations and financial institutions and be able to understand and predict to some degree the economic effects of their failure.
  • Be able to identify both long term and short term risk and possible remedies to manage it.
  • Assess the role of government for efficient operation of corporations and financial markets for the good of society.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
The student must get 1 out of 2 assignments/activities approved in order to attend the ordinary exam.

Group assignments with a group of 2-4
1) Case study
2) Oral Presentation

The student will not have extra attempts to get the required number of compulsory activities approved prior to the ordinary exam. If the student has not received approval for the required number of compulsory activities or has been ill, the student cannot participate in ordinary exam. Prior to the retake the student will be given an extra attempt. The extra attempt is a 10 page home assignment that will cover the required number of compulsory activities. If approved, the student will be able to attend retake. Please note that students must have made an effort in the allocated assignments throughout the course. Students that do not participate in the assignments (no show/U) are not entitled to the extra assignment and will have to wait until the next ordinary exam to complete the course.
Finance, Corporations and The Good Society:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Definition of number of pages:

Groups of

2 students 10 pages max.
3 students 15 pages max
4 students 20 pages max

The student may also choose to write a term paper (an individual project of 15 pages max.) Please see the student intranet for more information on term papers.
Assignment type Essay
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Corporations and financial institutions are pillars of civilized society, supporting people in their productive ventures and managing the economic risks they take on. The workings of these institutions are important to comprehend if we are to predict their actions today and their evolution in the coming information age. The course strives to offer understanding corporate governance and its relation to the history, strengths and imperfections. Now that both “free market capitalism” and democracy are in crisis around the world, this interdisciplinary course will help you understand interactions between the financial system, corporations, governments, and broader society. Topics include basic financial decisions of individuals and corporations, consumer finance (including mortgages, student loans, insurance and savings), financial markets and firms, corporations and their governance, the role of disclosures and regulations, political economy and government institutions, and the role of the media. We will discuss current events and policy debates regularly throughout the course. The approach will be rigorous and analytical but not overly mathematical. Visitors with relevant experience will enrich the discussion.



Description of the teaching methods
The course will be in a format of lectures and discussions, with external guests visiting on a regular basis.
Feedback during the teaching period
Receiving feedback during the course will possible, either during class discussions or during teacher´s office hours.
Student workload
Lectures 30 hours
Preparation 176 hours
Further Information

This course is intended to train students in assessing current affairs; reading news about corporations in the media - drawing links between government policy, vested interests, and business outcomes for firms, their clients, suppliers, and society at large. 

Expected literature

The course textbooks are:

Edmans, Alex, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit, Cambridge University Press, 2020

Shiller, Robert J. Finance and Good Society, 2nd edition. New York: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Lancaster, John, How to speak Money: What the Money People Say – and What it Really Means, Norton, 2014


Some other reference books and movies:

Johnsen, Gudrun, Bringing Down the Banking System, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014

• The Big Short (book by Michael Lewis, 2010, Feature film 2015).

• The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

• Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street,

Neil Barofsky (2012)

• Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, David Enrich (2020)

(See video of event hosted at Stanford in April 2020.)

• Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom, Katharine Eban (2019)


Movies (Feature and Documentaries)

(book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, 2004; Documentary, 2005; Podcast interview with Elkind; Note: Bethany McLean will visit our class)

• Merchants of Doubt (book by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway 2011, Documentary 2014)

• Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (book by John Carreyrou 2018, HBO Documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” 2019)

• “Amazon Empire,” Frontline Documentary, 2020 (and related content; Note: Stacy Mitchell will visit our class)

• “Dirty Money” Documentary series on Netflix, 2018-2019: Season 1, Episodes 2-4, (Fahmi Quadir and Bethany McLean in #3 will visit our class), Season 2, Episodes 1-3.

 • “Plastic Wars,” Frontline Documentary, 2020 • “Dark Waters” (feature, 2019, based on book by Robert Billot)

Last updated on 15-02-2021