When we hear “economic recession,” my friends and I don’t really have a strong grasp on what all is involved. We know that the unemployment rate is higher than it has been in years and that it is becoming harder and harder for college graduates to find a job.
We also know that more students are not able to go to college because they simply cannot afford it. But beyond that, my friends and I do not have a clear understanding of the financial crisis. It’s too bad that we don’t go to Columbia University.
Steven Fraser, an American studies professor at Columbia, is now teaching a class about Wall Street and this financial crisis, comparing it to similar crises in the past.
“The class is struck by the similarities between today and the darker periods of Wall Street’s past, for example in the Gilded Age – the meltdown, the bonuses, the reckless speculation, the impact of Wall Street’s behavior on the rest of society,” Fraser said. “We compare the confidence man of 1840 to the confidence man of today.”
Baruch College created two new courses last semester to analyze the crisis. In his economics and finance class, Andrew Rodman encourages students to consider “what has gone wrong, what has gone right, what elements precede most crises, which repairs work.”
So, if you are like me and want to learn more about the recession, look at the course listings offered at your school for next semester. Chances are, you might actually learn something in these classes that could be very useful in your future.