From a special report section on euro problems, encouragingly entitled "Staring into the abyss". I love the Schumpeter quote.
WHEN BRITAIN ABANDONED the gold standard in 1931, it was not only forsaking a system for managing the currency but also acknowledging that it could no longer bear the mantle of empire. When America broke the dollar’s peg with gold in 1971, it ushered in a decline that continued until Paul Volcker re-established confidence in the currency in the early 1980s. As Joseph Schumpeter, the great Austrian economist, once wrote: “The monetary system of a people reflects everything that the nation wants, does, suffers, is.”