International finance is the pivot around which the world economy twists and turns, and it affects politics and economics in every nation. Money and capital markets around the world are part of a global financial system in which all firms and investors compete continually with their counterparts in other countries. Every day hundreds of billions of dollars in stocks, bonds, and currencies speed electronically from trading room to trading room in search of a higher rate of return, so that Singapore and Paris, or London and Panama, are financially as close as midtown Manhattan and Wall Street. These enormous capital flows have blurred the lines between national financial markets, and have changed the environment within which investors, managers, workers, and politicians operate.