Shipping markets continue to evolve, as do the financial markets. For ship finance practitioners, it is more incumbent than ever to stay up to date with developments. While we have observed in previous editions that ship finance was long the preserve of specialists in the field, operating in an environment where market participants all knew each other, where knowledge was evenly shared by those participants and where the faces rarely changed, that is no longer the case. Moreover, the shipping industry was once shrouded in mystery and lacked transparency to all but insiders. The industry was populated by private companies that relied solely on trusted advisers with whom long relationships existed. The former is less true than it once was. Developments in the regulatory environment and rapid changes in the global financial markets have had a significant impact on the shape of the industry. Whether caused by government reactions to environmental issues and post-9/11 security concerns, or the impact of a prolonged recession following the financial crisis, the industry has changed. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say it has evolved. Whatever the cause, the industry is more transparent today, has seen considerable consolidation (and insolvency-driven restructurings) and has attracted the attention of the public financial markets of Wall Street and the interest of the more mysterious world of private equity. One of the consequences of this is the continual stream of new entrants into the market, however fleeting their interest may be. This development serves as the continuing rationale for this volume and the issues addressed in the various country surveys.