Financial Markets (ECON 252) Futures markets have expanded far beyond their initial application to farmer's planting and harvest cycles. These markets now allow investors and traders to set prices for a broad spectrum of assets and for a whole term structure stretching into the distant future. Some of these markets are often priced according to simple fair-value formulae, others are not. Futures markets can be in backwardation, where the future price is lower than the present, spot price. They can also be in contango, where the price rises with maturity and is higher in the future than it is today. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is a recent invention that has transferred the mechanics of futures markets to the prices of single-family homes in ten real estate markets, in an effort to create a national market for residential real estate. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction: On the Extinction of Ticker Tapes 01:49 - Chapter 2. How Futures Markets Included Financial Securities 18:06 - Chapter 3. Fair Value and the Influences of Contango and Backwardation 28:57 - Chapter 4. Volatility in the Oil Futures Market 41:31 - Chapter 5. Why Is the Price of Oil so High? On International Development, Nationalization, and World Politics 52:30 - Chapter 6. The Development of a Home Price Futures Market 01:08:01 - Chapter 7. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index and Conclusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2008.