This paper discusses the role of regulation in the emergence of a global system of linked financial markets. It traces the origins of the internationalization of financial markets to the emergence of new competitive pressures, rooted in changes in the social structures of savings and investment, breaking down both national systems of financial control and international arrangements for monetary and financial co-ordination. These changes have been accompanied and facilitated by a process of international re-regulation, through informal specialist networks. Although these have facilitated the international diffusion of regulatory standards and practices, and attempted to co-ordinate them, they are greatly hampered by espousing the perspectives of the various markets and firms which it is their task to supervise. Together with their minimalist view of the aims of public legitimation and oversight of financial markets, they have proved inadequate to prevent the destabilizing effects of the new global finance on the world economy.