Economics of financial intermediaries

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to understand the core principles of banking and finance, which are essential to the real economy: 1) understand how financial intermediaries work, what are the main drivers; 2) understand the basic issues involved in how financial markets and intermediaries finance the real economy 3) understand the drivers of financial crisis. Furthermore, they should be able to complement law topics with a financial approach, using appropriate financial notions and language.
Expected learning outcomes
- Knowledge and understanding: on successful completion of this course, students should be able to complement legal topics with the knowledge of financial markets and intermediaries. On this note both general and specific topics are provided: the framework where financial intermediaries - banks, financial firms, money and portfolio managers, investment and index funds, pension funds, insurance companies - operate; regulation and supervision.
- Applying knowledge and understanding: students should be able to apply theoretical knowledge to case studies and practical examples related to the main technical features of banks and financial intermediaries.
- Making judgements: active learning methodology helps students to learn the ability to identify and use data to formulate responses to well-defined financial problems.
- Communication: the course encourages students to communicate about their understanding, skills and activities encouraging guided class discussion and through case studies, and problem sets.
- Lifelong learning skills: on successful completion of this class, students can appreciate the core principles of banking and finance, then examine these models with real-world scenarios. Empirical applications of themes help students develop essential critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, preparing them for future legal careers in business and finance areas.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Lectures are scheduled on Microsoft Teams on the same slots as if taken in class. They will be uploaded on Ariel too.
The syllabus and reference material do not change.
The exam is taken on and Zoom. All information is available on Ariel.
Course syllabus
A) Introduction: 1. Why Study Financial Markets and Institutions?; 2. Overview of the Financial System. B) Fundamentals of Financial Institutions: 1. Why Do Financial Institutions Exist?
2. Why Do Financial Crises Occur and Why Are They So Damaging to the Economy? C) Financial Markets: 1. The Money Markets; 2. The Bond Market; 3. The Stock Market D) The Financial Institutions Industry: 1. Banking and the Management of Financial Institutions; 2. Financial Regulation; 3. Banking Industry: Structure and Competition; 4. The Mutual Fund Industry; 5. Insurance Companies and Pension Funds; 6. Investment Banks, Security Brokers and Dealers, and Venture Capital Firms
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
a) Lectures; b) Additional material to complement specific topics available on Ariel (
Teaching Resources
Istituzioni e mercati finanziari, F.S. Mishkin, S.G. Eakins e E. Beccalli, nona edizione Pearson, 2019.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Closed-book written exam. The exam will include short essays covering readings and additional material and last one hour and a half. All grades will be based on both the approach taken and the correctness of the response. To obtain good marks, show your work in a way that enables the lecturer to follow your reasoning. Mark is in 30/30 and will be published on Ariel.
On Ariel information on exam procedure during Covid-19 emergency are available.
Lessons: 42 hours
Office hour: Monday 16.30-17.30 on Microsoft Teams. Please send an email to to reserve a slot
Microsoft Teams