A layman's guide to the world that lies behind the headlines in finance - the markets, the mechanisms, the players and the investment opportunities offered by international diversification. It begins with an account of the development of the international financial system since World War II, focusing particularly on recent developments and the massive expansion of financial flows in the 1980s. It goes on to describe and explain the principal international financial markets and instruments, and provides the rudiments of global investment. Leading institutions, firms and financial centres are then profiled and their roles examined. Finally, issues arising from the proposed single European currency and the spate of financial scandals are discussed.