Dr. P.V. Viswanath

 

pviswanath@pace.edu

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  Courses / FIN 649 /  
 
 
 
 
 

FIN 649: International Corporate Finance Summer 2006

40124: Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30 to 8:40 p.m. at the New York campus, Rm W514
Email: pviswanath@pace.edu Tel: (212) 618-6518
Webpage: http://webpage.pace.edu/pviswanath
Blackboard: http://blackboard.pace.edu

Office W416, Pace New York
Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment.
Note:  I am in my office most of the week; send me e-mail, give me a call or just drop by!
   

Course Objectives

The primary objective of this course is to provide the student with the theoretical background and analytical tools necessary for sound financial decision-making in the context of a multinational firm.

Course Text

Required: International Finance, 4th edition by Maurice D. Levi, Routledge, London and New York. (ISBN 0-415-30900-X) (Amazon Link; also available in bookstore)
Harvard Business School Cases: 1) Foreign Exchange Hedging Strategies at General Motors: Competitive Exposures (9-205-096)
2) Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES (9-204-109)

Highly Recommended: The Floating Battlefield: Corporate Strategies In The Currency Wars, by Gregory Millman, April 1990, AMACOM (ISBN 0814459870) (Available on Reserve.)

Recommended Reading: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli, "The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy, John Wiley and Sons, 2005. (ISBN 0471648493) (There will be one copy on reserve in the library, but it's now available on Amazon for $18.87; grab it! It's a worthwhile book to get. It's also coming out in paperback; Amazon lists it at $11.02 on a "when released" basis, but release date is June 23, 2006.)

Computer Use and E-mail Policy:

You should obtain a Pace e-mail address as soon as possible, so that I can send you e-mail. Any student's Pace e-mail address can be obtained by going to the Contact Pace section of the main Pace Home Page (the default password is the studentís Pace Identification Number).  More information about e-mail address, etc. can be obtained from the DoIT website.  Even if you have another e-mail address where you wish to get your e-mail, you should still get a Pace e-mail address.  Once you have your Pace e-mail account and password, you can go to the Pace University Student E-Mail Server at http://stmail.pace.edu and have your e-mail forwarded to your preferred e-mail address.  You can find information on how to have your mail automatically forwarded at http://www.pace.edu/DoIT/forward/The only way that I can communicate with you is through your Pace e-mail account.  Hence, it behooves you to get your Pace account information as soon as possible.

Check your e-mail and the FIN 649 website on a regular basis.  This will enable you to get the maximum from the course. I am available for consultation by e-mail at pviswanath@pace.edu. I check my e-mail practically every day, and, in most cases, you should get a speedy response to any questions.  

We will also be using Blackboard as a gateway for some aspects of the course.  Please log in to Blackboard at the earliest opportunity.    Blackboard login procedures can be found on the appropriate Blackboard site.  Essentially, your login ID for Blackboard will be your email ID, and your password will be your 9-digit social security number (for more details, go to the Blackboard site).  

Course Requirements

Class Attendance and Participation

Class attendance is mandatory and is highly recommended.  This is for two reasons: one, I believe that you will understand the material much better if you attend the class sessions; two, modifications to the class schedule will be announced in class and/or on the BlackBoard website.  Also, on occasion, I conduct classroom exercises, give short quizzes, or assign additional work. If you miss a class session during which we have such a classroom exercise, or additional work is assigned, your grade will be adversely affected for this reason as well.  (Of course, it goes without saying that missing quizzes will affect your grade adversely.)  In any case, you should consult fellow students on what was done during the class time that you missed, and collect handouts for that day's session. You should also bring a calculator to all class meetings.

I also require that you read the Wall Street Journal and/or the business section of the New York Times on a regular basis. Some exam questions will be based on current newspaper and magazine articles that are related to course material. Hence you should cultivate and improve your ability to read newspaper articles critically.  I will assume that all students have online access to the Wall Street Journal.

There are two other reasons why you should try to attend as regularly as possible. One, classroom participation will help your grade. By participation, I mean answering questions and making intelligent comments. Two, we will sometime do learning exercises in class; doing them can help you substantially in understanding the material.  I often also give credit for participation in these classroom exercises.

Assignments and Working with Teams

Assignments are a critical part of the course.  The main purpose of these assignments is to make sure that you understand the material.  Details regarding assignments will be provided during the course; check Blackboard on a regular basis, as well. All assignments should be turned in, typed, as far as possible (i.e. mathematical formulas, etc. may be written in by hand, if necessary). This term, there will be two assignments, both Harvard Business School cases. You will be required to work on the cases as a group and turn in a written report on the case before the class meeting of the assigned day. The questions that must be addressed in the written report will be posted on Blackboard. There will also be class discussion, in which everybody will participate and be evaluated on an individual basis.

Academic Integrity

Any student taking this course is presumed to agree to abide by the statement on academic integrity, as described in the latest Graduate Catalog. You can get a copy of the Catalog from Lubin Undergraduate Academic Advisement.

Disability Policy

The University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities includes providing reasonable accommodations for the needs of students with disabilities. To request an accommodation for a qualifying disability, a student must self-identify and register with the Coordinator of Disability Services for his or her campus. No one, including faculty, is authorized to evaluate the need and arrange for an accommodation except the Coordinator of Disability Services. Moreover, no one, including faculty, is authorized to contact the Coordinator of Disability Services on behalf of a student. For further information, please see Information for Students with Disabilities on the University’s web site. You can contact the coordinator at 212-346-1526 in New York and 914-773-3710 in Westchester.

Exams

There will be three tests. Tests are closed book, but I will allow you to bring in one 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper containing only formulas -- nothing else (two sides). More details on the nature of the tests can be found on the FAQ page.  If you miss an test without being excused, I cannot give you any credit for that test.  University policy allows make-ups only for serious personal illness or death in the family, for which documentation may be required.  You can look at past tests and solutions on my website; however, the actual format of the tests this term will differ substantially from those of other tests. Please bring your own calculators to the exams; PDAs, however, are not allowed.  Get in touch with me regarding any question you may have regarding the tests, or the course in general.

Short Quizzes

I may give one quiz during the term. I will announce it ahead of time. (Chances of this are low given the paucity of time; however, sometimes this is indicated given the circumstances.)

Study Aids

Media Articles

On my webpages, you will find recent media articles.  From time to time, I will add to this list.  There are several reasons why you should look regularly at these pages.  

  • I will be posting interesting and recent articles to this page.  As such, it will be a useful way for you to keep abreast of topical issues (in addition to your regular perusal of the Wall Street Journal.)
  • I will pose questions on the subject matter of several of the articles.  These questions will be good preparation for the media article based questions on the exams.
  • You can draw on the articles for classroom discussions.
  • These articles and the appended questions are useful preparation for job interviews.
  • Some of these articles may be required reading, to be followed up by Blackboard postings.

The password, necessary to access the Media Articles section will be announced in class, and can also be found at the Blackboard website. In case of emergency, you can contact me for the password.

Grades

Your final grade will be determined as follows:

Factor  Impact on grade
Exams 60%
Assignments (two HBS cases) 20%
Class Attendance and Participation 20%

Letter grades will be assigned as follows:  

Course Grade Quantitative Class Score
A, A- 90%-100%
B+, B 80%-89.99%
B-, C+ 70%-79.99%
C 60-69.99%
F 0-59.99%

Note that the minimum and maximum quantitative scores for plus and minus refinements to the letter grades will be at my discretion. These will be partly determined by the distribution of student scores within each letter grade category.   I place a high value on effort; at my discretion, I will raise your grade one notch if I feel that you have tried hard to satisfy all the requirements of the course.

Prerequisites:

BUS 512 and MBA 603 or MBA 632 and INB 640.

Data Cards

On the index card handed out in class, please fill in the information requested below.  Make sure to number the item that you are responding to.

  1. Name
  2. Home and Work Phone number; Fax number, if any
  3. Email address, other than at pace.edu (for my convenience).  (Note that I will send you email only to your Pace email address)
  4. Functional expertise/interest in business administration (e.g. accounting, finance, personnel administration)
  5. Work experience, if any (provide particulars of what your duties were)
  6. Previous knowledge of finance (if any)
  7. Interests outside of business management (such as languages, music, etc.)
  8. What spreadsheet program do you know? Where did you learn it, and when?