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How Latvia Came Through the Financial Crisis (Peterson Institute for International Economics: Special Report) Paperback – April 15, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anders Aslund, known for repeatedly challenging conventional wisdom on transition economies is a leading specialist on postcommunist economic transformation. He boldly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. His books have won multiple Choice OAT awards. Valdis Dombrovskis is the Prime Minister of Latvia. He has previously served as Latvia's Minister of Finance and a Member of the European Parliament for the New Era Party.
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Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Institute for International Economics: Special Report (Book 17)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Institute of International Economics (April 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088132602X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881326024
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By N. Tsafos on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is easy to think that what happened in Latvia, a small country with a small economy, could not possibly be relevant for other countries coping with the aftermath of the worst economic crisis in generations. Yet this book by Anders Åslund and Valdis Dombrovskis shows otherwise: just as there are economic similarities between financial crises, so there are political similarities on how to deal with them. "How Latvia Came through the Financial Crisis" is as much a political handbook as it is an economic analysis of the crisis. It combines economic rigor (Åslund) with inside knowledge by Latvia's prime minister (Dombrovskis) and shows how a country can take tough decisions, adjust quickly, and come out ahead.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is actually for my husband whois of Latvian descent. I was interested in what I looked at but I have not actually read the book. I'll let you know after Christmas. I do know that my husband is fascinated by this type of reading and misses his father terribly who lived in Latvia until he was run out during WW2.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book co-written by the Latvian Commissioner-designate should be compulsory reading for finance ministers in Europe .

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.
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