05 April 2012

Two Types of Russians

My (Russian) boss once said:  "There are two types of people in Russia.  There are those that do not know the difference between $1,000 and $1, and there are those that do.  The trouble is that only the people that do not know the difference have money to spend."

Those are wise words, especially since they are confirmed by this article in the NY Times.  Here are some telling quotes:
Time to Sell Penthouse. The Russians Have Cash.
The spending spree may just be warming up, given that $84 billion left Russia last year, with the Russian government estimating that up to 5 percent of that capital flight was being plowed into American real estate.
Jill Sloane, a broker with Halstead Property, said, “Everyone knows they are the ones with the big money right now.” She added that when she heard that the penthouse at 15 Central Park West had sold for $88 million, “I knew it had to be a Russian.”
Many of the Russians seem determined to make names for themselves as conspicuous consumers. After buying trophy apartments and houses, they often pour tens of millions of dollars more into remodeling projects by brand-name interior designers like Jacques Grange. They also collect rare art and commission one-of-a-kind yachts.
When the Russians shop for real estate, they tend not to dither, brokers said, and they seem to spend their fortunes as quickly as they made them.

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