FAU Lifelong Learning Society, Jupiter
Mark Tomass, Ph.D.


Mark Tomass, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor at Harvard University. Professor Tomass’s research work focuses on monetary and credit crises, civil conflict in the Middle East, and organized crime. His current work on civil conflict draws from his experience as a native of Syria and his scholarship while a research fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, including the publications Religious Identity, Informal Institutions, and the Nation States of the Near East, Game Theory Models with Instrumentally Irrational Players: A Case Study of Civil War and Sectarian Cleansing, and his forthcoming book entitled: "The Religious Origin of the Syrian Conflict: The Remaking of the Fertile Crescent." His book employs economic concepts that highlight the role of political entrepreneurs in the formation of the religious map of the Middle East and the civil conflicts they have generated. Professor Tomass obtained his doctoral degree in monetary economics in 1991 at Northeastern University. He has taught Money & Banking, International Trade & Finance, and Comparative Economic Systems in various U.S. and international universities and business schools, including Harvard University, Babson College, the University of New York in Prague, and Masaryk University.

News and notes by Prof. Tomass
Understanding Financial Markets
A Simplified Guide to Portfolio Investors

Many of us at some point of our lives allocate our savings to some form of passive investment to generate supplemental income or to provide for our retirement. Many of us also base our decision on how to allocate funds to appropriate investments on the judgments of professionals. While those judgments are often helpful to seek, they do not always serve the best interest of investors. This course is designed to help people make those decisions in a more informed manner. To accomplish this task, the course makes complicated financial markets comprehensible to non-specialists. It explains how the simultaneous interaction of the public, the banking system, and the Federal Reserve System determine the supply money and the rate of interest. It explains how the value of the domestic currency is determined in international currency markets and how that in turn determines the value of international financial assets. It also examines how bond and stock markets function and how their prices are determined. Finally, it shows how investors use the derivatives markets, such as futures, options, and swaps to hedge against unwanted risk or to speculate for financial gain.

Four Lectures
  1. The Money and Foreign Exchange Markets — What determines the value of money in domestic and international markets?
  2. The Bond Market — When do bonds become viable portfolio investments?
  3. The Stock Market — What determines the market value of stocks?
  4. The Derivatives Market — How are derivatives used to protect the value of portfolio investments?

Fall 2014 Class Files
Course # F4R3 — 4 weeks
  Place:Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
  Dates:Thursdays — November 13, 20; December 4, 11 – No Class November 27
  Time:12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  Fee:$34 / member; $54 / non-member