Jason Sussman : Courses and Seminars
Structuring Financial Instruments
This seminar introduces tax, legal, accounting and economic principles relevant to the structuring of complex financial instruments—from forwards, swaps and options to convertible bonds and other securities with embedded derivatives. Throughout the seminar, different instruments designed to achieve similar economic goals will be examined to highlight the significance of structuring choices and the range of techniques available. For example, there are various instruments that can be used to approximate the economics of buying an asset, without an actual purchase of that asset. The seminar will examine how these instruments are treated differently for tax, securities law, commodities law, bankruptcy, accounting and other purposes, notwithstanding their economic similarity. Students will develop the ability to optimize transactions by selecting among existing financial products or inventing new ones. The seminar will also include discussion of policy issues. No specific prerequisites, but introductory income tax strongly recommended, and knowledge of securities regulation, bankruptcy and accounting helpful. The seminar will be assessed via a) a series of reaction papers (2 credits) or b) via a full-length research paper (3 credits). Class participation and attendance will be considered.