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A big, big Lett down

The Latvian economy is in terrible, terrible shape. As The Economist notes, its GDP has declined by one-fifth and imports and exports have contracted by 40%. It is an economic disaster zone rarely seen outside of times of war. The European Union and the IMF have thrown the tiny Baltic country of 2.2 million a lifeline, but everyone is nervous that the country might become a victim of L-shaped stagnation, instead of an optimistic U-shaped recovery.