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We're All in This Together

A glance at the year-to-date percentage change for major international stock indexes is a stark lesson in global economics.  Only Caracas (Venezuela) showed a single-digit YTD loss this afternoon; losses of 30% to 50% were quite common, with RTS (Russia) off an astounding 74.9%.

As of May, Russia had 87 billionaires, second only to the US.  At least half of them probably will lose their billionaire status in '09.  In the past five months, Russia's top 25 high net worth individuals have seen something on the order of $230 billion fly the coop.  A bizarre offshoot of this is that many magnates and oligarchs have taken to spending most of their time on their yachts; whenever they stroll about on shore, will angry crowds of shareholders, pensioners, and unemployed workers show up to pelt them with rotting fish and drive them aboard again?


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