I thought that this might be interesting and it came to mind because of the Euro thread, but more on that later. 1. The Oil Crisis of the 70's. Whilst I don't really remember it, the inflationary impact in the UK was enormous. My pocket money became worthless . 2. The Maggie Thatcher impact. Whilst not aligned to her politically, I can see that the UK needed a serious wake up call and MT did this. 3. The end of communism. Perhaps the US' finest achievement, winning the Cold War. 4. The growth of China, India, Russia, Brasil etc. This is changing the global picture and will, as far as I can see, continue. 5. Debt. Ow. This one is going to hurt for a very long time. European integration doesn't make it onto my personal list, because frankly, without fiscal union, it isn't that important, more of a blind alley. If you have more or less decades experience than me, please feel free to add or subtract to your list.