International Finance

Topics: Bretton Woods system, Foreign exchange market, Monetary policy, Currency, International economics, Central bank / Pages: 129 (32131 words) / Published: Oct 11th, 2010
CPA REVIEWS NOTES- INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL FINANCE
Learning objectives After reading this topic you should be able to: • • • • • • Understand the background of international finance Define international finance Explain the reason for studying international finance Explain the roles of international financial manager Understand the background of multinational corporations Distinguish between international finance and domestic finance

1.1 BACKGROUND TO INTERNATIONAL FINANCE International finance as a subject is not new in the area of financial management, it has been widely covered earlier in international economics and it is only the fast growth of international business in the post-world war II and the associated complexities in the international transactions that made the subject as an independent area of study. For several centuries, international economists have used the classical economic theory of comparative advantage to explain the trade movements between nations. Looking at the writings of Adam Smith and David Ricardo in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the theory in simple terms, states that everyone gains if each nation specializes in the production of those goods that it produces relatively most efficiently and imports those goods that other countries produces most relatively efficiently. The theory supported free trade arguments, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) The doctrine of comparative advantage made an initial assumption that although the products of economic activities could move internationally; the factors of production were relatively fixed in a geographical sense. Land, labor and capital were assumed internationally immobile. The fast growing of the cross-border business transactions in the second half of the last twentieth century triggered the birth of multinational corporations, which is considered the most important phenomena in the economic development in that

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