A popular solution to the financial crisis has been to print more money, but is there another way to change our economy? Would the financial system be more stable if every pound, dollar or euro in our pocket were still backed by gold?
Brian from Manchester has lost confidence in the money. After selling his house, he decided to turn his money into something he says he can trust: gold.
"I started in 2005 and now I have a value of £ 200,000, about half of what I have, in gold.
"If I kept all my money in the bank, the value of my work would decrease in the long term or be erased."
Brian fears that inflation will undermine the value of his savings over time or, worse, that banks and weak governments can not protect them in another financial crisis.
And he is not alone in these fears.
Frances, who lives in London, sold her apartment in 2008 and invested £ 40,000 in gold profits, which she bought over the Internet and kept in a safe in Switzerland.
"I'm not afraid of a financial Armageddon," she says in Radio 4's analysis, "but I'm worried that governments, in their desperate search for wealth, are constantly printing more money to deal with the debt people like me
"Then I have to protect myself."
Both Frances and Brian have dedicated their fortunes directly to the value of gold. You've been put in a gold standard, if you like.
Some economists and politicians say that currencies have to do the same, that we have to redraw the link between money and something tangible.
How central banks around the world print billions of pounds, euros and dollars through measures such as quantitative easing, which makes more sense: believe in money from the air or believe in a yellow metal that does not have Can you spend your tank or even eat in stores?
This is an argument that reveals deep divisions among economists.
In the green corner are those who print more money to free us from trouble and in the corner of the gold are people who are sometimes denigrated as "golden insects" who believe we are in control of the monetary reality.
Detlev Schlichter, a former banker and author of Paper Money Collapse, says the current system is badly flawed.
"The problem is that what we use as money can be created and produced by privileged money producers, the central bank, and the banking system.
"They can produce as much money as they want, so providing that kind of money is totally elastic, it's totally flexible."
Detlev Schlichter believes that in the end it will make people lose confidence in our current system of elastic money and resort to something that does not get long, like gold.
He advocates a system of radical market economy in which there are no central banks and where currencies, which are no longer linked to national states, compete for credibility.
He believes that in such a system, the money that can be exchanged in the bank for something of value, such as gold, would be more attractive than a 10-pound note that can only be exchanged for two $ 5 bills. books.
For centuries money made or supported by gold was the norm.
The United States was still under the gold standard until President Richard Nixon left in 1971 because foreign governments began to trade the dollars they had for gold and the United States began to run out of bullion.
And that, the dominant thought says, is the problem.
If the power to create more money is limited, prices may fall as the economy grows and produces more goods and services.
You may think it sounds good, but opponents of standard gold argue that there is a problem. Why buy something today if you know it's probably cheaper tomorrow? Consumers stop investing and the economy stagnates, which is why most economists fear deflation.
DeAnne Julius, from Chatham House think tank, was a member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, the body that decides how much money is in the system.
She said that if the money in the system were limited by being linked to gold, it would limit economic growth, which is the last thing we need now.
"I think it's very stupid to trust gold as the basis of a country's monetary system," says Dr. Julius.
You can not force a government to keep gold, so gold has no credibility
Lord Lawson, former Chancellor of the chessboard
And not only because it would limit growth, but because it would be almost a waste.
"We currently have less than one percent of our GDP that the Bank of England gold reserves, that would be the kind of multiplier you need to create book notes, which were closely related to gold something of the order of four, five hundred times ", Explain.
"Every time the price of gold moves, you will find that the value of this money jumps in your pocket: an extremely unstable and volatile way of managing an economy."
This volatility in gold prices means that it is risky for investors like Brian and Frances who have amassed a large part of their personal savings in gold investments: 40,000 pounds of gold could be worth less in a year.
According to central bankers, the benefits of the current system are that they can take corrective action in difficult times by lowering interest rates that encourage people to spend rather than saving, which in turn stimulates economic activity.
Detlev Schlichter says giving this kind of power to the monetary authorities is part of the problem as it only delays a financial crisis:
"The current system is a political instrument: it allows the central bank, and more broadly, the state to manage the economic booms, created in the short term but paid off with a big cat from the end of the boom."
If we had stayed at the gold standard, it would probably be true that we were not in the mess that we are today.
Yes, our economies would be much smaller, but perhaps their fundamentals would be stronger if the only currency in circulation were money tied to something tangible like gold.
But would the return to the gold standard work in a world where monetary systems are controlled by central banks and governments?
"You can not force a government to keep gold, so gold has no credibility," says Lord Lawson, Treasury director in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher.
"Because [the abandonment of the gold standard] has happened several times in economic history, gold is no longer practicing this discipline."
The countries gave up gold when it became difficult in the 1930s and 1970s. So, when the parts returned to the gold standard, could address so-called "gold bugs" who have lost faith in paper money, but could also represent a new wave of skeptics who trust the ring gold and broken
Listen to the full report on Analysis on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, July 2nd at 8:00 pm and Sunday, July 8th at 9:30 pm. You can listen to the Radio 4 website again or download the podcast.
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