International Finance

Lesson Plan: International Finance

Lesson Plan: International Finance

Topic: International Finance

Week #: 7

Estimated Time: 150-180 minutes


Assigned Readings and Materials:

  1. Greenlaw, Steven A. and Shapiro, David. 2018. Principles of Macroeconomics 2e. OpenStax. Available online at Sections 14.1 and 14.3 (Money and Banking, pp. 335-338 and 341-345); 10.1 to 10.4 (International Trade and Capital Flows, pp. 245-259); 16.1 and 16.3 (Exchange Rates and International Capital Flows, pp. 381-390 and 395-397) (32 pages total, core reading)
  2. Hennessey, Keith et al. 2011. “Dissenting Statement on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis.” US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Available online at (first 10 pages, briefing)
  3. Frontline. 2012. “Money, Power, and Wall Street: Part One.” PBS documentary. Available online at (approx. 60 minutes)


Total page count: 42

Online documentary: 1 hour


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

  1. Describe major components of international finance
  2. Analyze the relationship between international trade and finance
  3. Evaluate causes and consequences of a major global financial crisis

Misconceptions of Topic:

  1. Students may not see how their actions affect international finance and vice versa.
  2. Students may think, “International finance is too complicated for me to understand, and it's just about bankers and capitalists.”


Lesson Component


Lecture: Review learning objectives

Lecture slides

Lecture and discussion: How does international finance affect me? How do I affect international finance?


Reading 1

Lecture slides


Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in international finance


Reading 1

Lecture slides

Think Pair Share: What were the causes of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis? What might be some ways to prevent future crises?

Reading 2; documentary resource 3

Lecture slides



Application: Debt crisis in Greece


Instructor resource:

Nelson, Rebecca M. et al. 2017. “The Greek Debt Crisis: Overview and Implications for the United States.” Congressional Research Service. Available online at


Online resource:

Frontline. 2012. “Money, Power & Wall Street, Part 4”

View 28:30-44:00

Application: Mexico’s 1982 foreign debt crisis

Two background readings (optional to assign to students):


Glasberg, Davita Silfen. 1989. “Chapter Six— Mexico's Foreign Debt Crisis: Bank Hegemony, Crisis, and the State” in

 The Power of Collective Purse Strings: The Effect of Bank Hegemony on Corporations and the StateBerkeley:  University of California Press. Available free online at


Alternative URL for Glasberg 1989:


Sims, Jocelyn and Jessie Romero. 2013. “Latin American Debt Crisis of the 1980s” Federal Reserve History. Available online at


Conclude and wrap-up

Lecture slides