This collective volume focuses on the interaction between financial and overall economic development. It includes both theoretical and empirical contributions which are carefully structured and eventually aimed at eliciting findings important for economic policy. In light of the 2007-2009 Great Recession such issues as financial contagion and systemic risk are discussed. Also, alternative approaches to financial system classification are highlighted. A novel and highly controversial issue of financial system convergence is studied. The book uses some statistics and econometrics, but it remains quite accessible for readers without special training and/or interest in technical details. Given these features of the book, it can be an ideal companion to other readings in financial macroeconomics and can be used in teaching general macroeconomics, monetary economics and similar courses at an advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.