So where did they get the money?
It’s an all too familiar story. Inflows of foreign capital, mainly from Scandinavian banks, attracted by low interest rates and a population hungry for credit – credit advanced, of course, against property. Latvian house prices soared and there was a construction boom. Easy credit, wealth effects and incomes from construction and real estate activities also fuelled a consumption boom: suddenly Latvia, one of the poorest countries in Europe, was flooded with Porsches and Bentleys.