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Monday, October 12, 2009

Baltic Tiger: In the Eye of the Storm

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

Unemployment, defaults, foreclosure and bankruptcy have become the bywords of our time. The domino effect that hit the rest of Europe in 2008 was but a glancing blow to some countries such as Norway. The country domestically contained the crisis largely, by virtue of being outside the EU and continued full sail in true Norse fashion. Currency Expert Chuck Butler* comments that the Norwegian krone is HSBC's preferred G10 currency where the bank expects a sustained appreciation over the next 18 months. Whereas the crisis wasn't as kind to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, countries that were much more vulnerable, colliding with the recession maelstrom head-on. Indeed, the Baltic countries were caught off-balance in their 3rd stage of transition to the Economic Monetary Union of Europe. After a decade of unprecedented growth without foundations and safety measures, the inexorable economic law kicked in and the Baltic house of cards built on the shifting marsh of inexperience imploded with a bang. Today, the dust is beginning to settle and it is time to look to the future.

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