Financial institutions (e.g. commercial and investment banks, pension plans, securities firms and mutual funds) are in the midst of a profound change driven in large part by an increasingly interdependent global economy, changing demographics, advances in information and communication technology and the evolving needs of commerce. The course provides a broad survey of the different regulatory structures for seemingly unrelated financial activities and the underlying policy justification for each approach. It will examine how the world's rapidly changing economic environment facilitated the convergence and integration of financial institutions and changes in how these institutions are regulated. The course will also examine how the economic crisis which began in August 2007 came about and some of the major actions taken by the federal government to deal with the crisis. We will also look at major reform initiatives designed to prevent this type of crisis from occurring again.