Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Latvia "story"

The other day, we saw that the Latvian blondes were out marching, doing their best to pump up the economy.

The parade was part of a "Blonde Weekend" which also featured a blonde golf tournament, a little lady fashion show, an evening ball, and a children's drawing competition.

And last month, we heard from John, that the price of escorts in Latvia had gone down--signalling that the problems of Latvia had affected all segments of Latvian society:

At least partly for effect I noted that one of the most important (perhaps the most important) export industries in Latvia has been tourism. And it is not any type of tourism – it has traditionally been sex tourism. Latvians are beautiful Scandinavian people (if you like that Northern European look). They also have a more Scandinavian sexual morality and they were relatively poor. This meant that Ryanair put on discount flights and filled them with salivating Irish and English lads. Swill beer on the Friday flight over. Party all weekend, soil the plane on the way home. You could not walk around Riga as a single English guy and not be thought of as a Ryanair sex tourist...

Well – most prices. The contractual terms of prostitution are short (an hour, a night) and entry to the industry is unconstrained. That means that the prices are very flexible. Extraordinarily flexible.

The price – looking at websites I will not link for decency's sake – has fallen by at least two thirds in the past year – and the advertised price (for a non-English speaking young woman) is LVL30 – or less than 60 US dollars. I am sure the rip-offs are still there – but anecdotal evidence suggests the hookers no longer cost too much.

Anybody notice what happened to Latvia currency the other day?

June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Latvia’s lats gained the most in three years, spurring a rally in East European currencies, as plans to cut state spending paved the way for the Baltic country to receive its next international bailout payment.

Now that some of these hedge fund managers have had a good month, it's time for them to save some money, and book their Latvia flights!

For investments, that is!

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