A rambling, albeit genuinely informative and consistently ingratiating, update on the First World's increasingly interdependent capital markets. Smith focuses on banking, a trade he plied in a wealth of foreign venues as a Gold-man Sachs partner (before retiring to teach at NYU). Time was when bankers could be neatly pigeonholed (e.g., commercial, investment, merchant). As the author makes clear, however, traditional classifications have largely lost their meaning. The same holds true for markets. Thanks to advances in telecommunications technology, widespread deregulation, and allied factors, financial-services organizations have gone global with a vengeance. Where once relationships dictated who did business with whom, essentially stateless enterprises equipped to operate across any number of national borders now engage in all-out transactional competition. Drawing freely upon his own experiences in the major leagues of international finance, Smith offers a somewhat leisurely tour of three money-market centers--New York, London, and Tokyo. With frequent time-outs to explore the demand as well as supply side of the high-stakes game, he sheds considerable light on the characteristics these hubs have in common and the ways in which they differ. The author makes a particularly good job of recounting the emergence of the ungoverned Eurobond market, which helped spark a resurgence of ""pragmatic capitalism"" on the socialistic Continent, and the convulsive restructuring of the London Stock Exchange. Equally informative are his insider's views on the mysterious monetary mores of mighty Japan Inc., the post-WW II comeback of US banking, budget deficits, LDC debt woes, trade imbalances, and other matters of socioeconomic import. An authoritative introduction with treasures and pleasures for older hands as well as neophytes.