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A brief definition of the global financial system is: The financial system consisting of institutions, their customers, and financial regulators that act on a global level. The WHO defines it as "...various official and legal arrangements that govern international financial flows in the form of loan investment, payments for goods and services, interest and profit remittances. The main elements are the surveillance and monitoring of economic and financial stability, and provision of multilateral finance to countries with balance of payments difficulties. The organization at the centre of the system is the International Monetary Fund, which has the mandate to ensure its effective running.". The Financial Times lexicon defines it as:"..interplay of financial companies, regulators and institutions operating on a supranational level. The global financial system can be divided into regulated entities, regulators, supervisors and institutions like the European Central Bank or the International Monetary Fund.The system also includes the lightly regulated or non-regulated bodies - this is known as the “shadow banking” system. Mainly, this covers hedge funds, private equity and bank sponsored entities such as off-balance-sheet vehicles that banks use to invest in the financial markets.". (via Freebase)