On Jan. 1, Latvia will adopt the euro, and its lats currency will be no more. Farewell to the bearded Krisjanis Barons, the collector of folk songs who graces the 100-latu note. The Baltic nation is shucking a piece of its heritage because its leaders predict joining Europe’s common currency zone will lead to more trade and prosperity.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to urge European Union finance ministers to step up their crisis-fighting strategy when he meets with them this week in Poland, a euro-area official said.
Koichi Hamada, an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said that he was cautious about increasing Japan’s sales tax soon, signaling Abe will face debate over the planned move after a forecast election victory this weekend.