Islamic finance has made striking advances in the past year in its prime market of Muslim individuals, sovereigns and institutions, and among non-Muslim issuers and consumers attracted to Shariah-compliant products.
Much of the action in financial markets this year will centre around private-equity fund managers.
The dinosaurs that were the old US futures exchanges are extinct.
Innovation on the part of issuers and their bankers along with robust risk appetite from investors shaped the capital markets in 2004.
With private banking contributing anything up to 20% of global bank profits, capturing market share through mergers and acquisitions is a preoccupation of wealth managers.
As it looks to keep pace with rival Banco Santander, Spanish bank BBVA is setting its growth sights on the Hispanic market in the US - at the outset Mexicans in California and Texas - rather than Europe.