Alex Gould paced the stage of an auditorium at Stanford University last week, imploring students to think about why the U.S. Treasury bought preferred stock rather than common stock in nine major banks, and how the nation’s economic meltdown began with home mortgages.
Gould, who teaches a course at Stanford on money, banking and the financial markets, searched the faces of his 100 students, many of whom are preparing to graduate in the spring. Students asked questions about their midterm exam, but many grappled with a bigger question: What does a destabilized economy mean for their future?
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Educators across the Bay Area are using the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression to teach everything from behavioral finance and social justice to the recasting of capitalism.
“What’s happening now affects every one of us,” Gould said. “It provides an unparalleled laboratory of real-world applications upon which to test theories.”