Every bear market has its silver lining. According to Bloomberg, Russian billionaires are being forced to cut back on their glamourous lifestyles.
The best paragraph from the article provides an insight both into behavior at the top of the cycle and the Russian system of justice:
“Mikhail Prokhorov, then CEO of OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, embarrassed the Kremlin two years ago by flying in a planeload of women for a private party and getting arrested on suspicion of pimping. He was cleared of any wrongdoing because the judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence.”
Planeload of women? What planeload of women? Case dismissed.
It turns out, with its dependence on $100 a barrel oil, Russia is sort of the new Houston where, back in the mid-1980s after product prices collapsed, one saw bumper stickers around town that said, “Lord, please send another oil boom. I promise not to piss the next one away.”