Money was invented in order to get round the problems of trusting other individuals. But then the issue was — could you trust the person issuing the money? So the state became the natural issuer of money. And then the question is, can we trust the state? And in many ways that’s a question about whether we can trust ourselves in the future.
— Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England
Quoted in A History of the World in 100 Objects, Neil MacGregor, 2010, p. 465.