Cash, Money, Debt and the GFC

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This class has passed

What’s it all about?

Have you ever wondered what money actually is? How our banking system works, or where all that money went in the Global Financial Crisis?

You often hear people say that they don’t ‘get’ economics or that it is all too complicated. Whilst general bewilderment and elitism may be the desired result of an undergraduate economics course, understanding key economic issues and concepts is surprisingly simple and accessible to all.

This class will unpack some of the confusion and jargon associated with modern economic discourse as well as arming you with a background on Big Important Things like money, debt and the Global Financial Crisis.

What will we cover?

We will take a brief look at the history of money and how the modern currency came to be. This will include how money works in a simple market, followed by how the global economy evolved into a gold standard, before its subsequent shift into an unbacked currency that relies on common public belief in order to hold its value.

We will then look at credit creation – the most powerful mechanism for making money out of nothing – and the way it has influenced the huge growth in debt all around the world and what that means for us.

Finally we will use these concepts of money and debt to unpack the most recent Global Financial Crisis. This will include looking at how and why it occurred, some of its impacts, and some of the strategies used for lessening the economic downturn.

While the facts themselves are mind-boggling, the concepts that underpin them are actually quite simple. The key goal of this class is to present the information in a simple, easy to understand way so everyone can feel like they can engage with these issues.

Who will be teaching?

Jerome HollemanJerome Holleman is currently working for Dr. Kate Shaw at the University of Melbourne on an economic analysis of gentrification in Melbourne’s inner city and its impact on creative spaces. He has also recently completed an undergraduate Arts/Commerce degree with majors in Economics, Political Science and Spanish. He is endlessly fascinated (and seriously concerned) by the curious logic that underpins modern economic systems and the way they function. Jerome also has awesome blender skills and enjoys making chocolate mousse.