2008 Millionaire's Fair Had Plenty Of Attendees, Sales Not So Much

The show must go on. But a show was all it was.

The Independent: There were cars and yachts, a naked model painted in gold and a who’s who of the tacky Russian pop scene at the Millionaire’s Fair in Moscow on the weekend. The only things missing were money and champagne.

The annual event had become an opulent symbol of Russia’s conspicuous consumption, where the newly rich could spend their petrodollars as quickly as they made them, with diamond-encrusted hubcaps and £160,000 cars in high demand.

Not so this year, as Russia dives into its worst financial situation in a decade.

Both the state and its wealthiest men are suffering from the effects of a crisis that they hoped would somehow remain outside the country’s borders.

“This year, people are just coming by to say hello, out of politeness,” said Gaukhara Zhakish, who is the chief representative for Gulfstream jets in Russia.

Over the past few years, the company has sold an average of 20 jets, ranging from $150m to $250m, in Russia. This year, it hasn’t filled a single order since summer.

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