This special issue of the "Journal of International Financial markets" covers this area of law from an international and comparative angle. The issue combines two elements. The first is composed of various articles on themes relating to financial markets. The second part consists of detailed tables comparing the financial markets' legal and regulatory situation supporting cross-border trading in over 60 jurisdictions worldwide. Questions addressed in the tables include: when is local regulatory authorization required?; what are the local advertising, cold-calling and conduct of business rules, and when do they apply to foreign firms?; how are Internet services treated?; are client assets protected upon a firm's insolvency?; and what are the arrangements for the introduction of the Euro?