This year’s report focuses on long-term finance—equity or debt financing with maturity exceeding one year—and establishes its importance for economic development. Extending the maturity structure of finance is often considered to be at the core of sustainable financial development. It is needed for private sector construction of plants and investment in machinery and equipment, as well as financing infrastructure investments. Without long-term finance households cannot invest in housing or education, or benefit from higher long-term returns on their savings. Attempts at directly boosting the supply of long-term finance have not been free of controversy, and have sometimes led to substantial costs to taxpayers. The report emphasizes that governments and international bodies must focus on reforms that help overcome market failures and institutional and policy weaknesses. They must also improve risk and information sharing, and promote financial literacy and consumer protection.