Latvian lessons to be heeded

Michael Bourke was ringside as Latvia’s financial system spiralled into chaos, and the banker sees numerous parallels between that crash and the Irish crash

15th May, 2010

Ireland’s story of a credit fuelled drive from boom to bust is very familiar to former Rietumu Bank chief executive Michael Bourke. The career banker witnessed, more or less, the same thing happen both in Ireland and in Latvia at the same time.

Bourke ran Latvia’s fourth-largest bank for nine years and watched how that country’s genuine economic growth got over taken by a flow of credit that went a long way towards...

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