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How Latvia Came Through the Financial Crisis (Peterson Institute for International Economics: Special Report) Paperback – April 15, 2011
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The book chronicles Latvia's economic performance since independence and then focuses on the boom years from 2004 to 2007. It then zeroes in on the onset of the economic crisis and the choices that Latvia faced in dealing with it. There is a whole chapter devoted to the question of whether Latvia should have devalued its currency - this chapter is, by itself, sufficient to make the book worthwhile. Latvia chose not to devalue, against the advice of so many economists, and its choice proved good.
Alongside the economic tale - wages cut, spending lowered, reforms implemented - is a political tale about how to handle such a crisis. What stands out is that there was both supply and demand for reforms: it is usually the political leadership that, under pressure, is forced to change. The electorate offers no more than begrudging acceptance at best. Not so in Latvia, where there was strong support for market reforms. When one government proved not up to the task it was voted out. With a new government, Latvia implemented reform quickly.Read more ›
It certainly deserves to be translated into French, Spanish, Greek and Flemish. They need the template for recovery more than many.
I am looking forward to a group of Commissioners (the baltic states seem to be very realistic) with core economic and political literacy moving to Brussels.
His attacks on oligarch capitalism or crony capitalism is scathing and the need to address corruption is powerful. But, most of all, his genuine concern comes across in to protect the most vulnerable in society from the ravages of inflation.