“The decline and fall of Europe” is Time magazine’s fearsome headline. “Its economic union is unravelling, London is ablaze, and the continent’s once dependable trading partner the US is too feeble to save the day -- or the euro,” the US magazine reports. “Say goodbye to the old order.”

“The EU has created a single currency, but it hasn’t forged a deeper political or fiscal union,” the magazine continues. Opinions differ on whether to centralize further or break up the EU. There are historic precedents for both: look how the Russian ruble fell apart when “economic discrepancies became too great” between ex-Soviet countries who tried to keep using it after the collapse of the USSR. On the other hand, remember the Exchange Rate Mechanism crisis in 1992, which prompted many European countries to move “towards closer economic integration”? Whichever way, “the crisis reveals the choice and the choice has to be made.”