Putin about the rich Russians: tasteless and ostentatious

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday said Russia’s new rich have a problem spending their money in a tasteful way, commenting on the ostentatious spending by the small proportion of Russians who enjoy massive wealth.

“The noveau riche all of a sudden got rich very quickly but cannot manage their wealth without showing it off all the time. Yes this is our problem,” said Putin in an annual question-and-answer session with Russian citizens.

Putin was responding to a question about a crash involving rich Russians in Switzerland, which local media said involved a Lamborghini sports car and a Bugatti Veyron.

“In the Soviet times some of our rich showed off their wealth by having gold teeth put in, preferably at the front. The Lamborghinis and other pricey knicknacks — they are simply today’s gold teeth which are shown off to everybody,” he said.

Mention should be made that the taste of Russians and their obsession to show off and differentiate is the driver behind the successfull Russian luxury market. While in America we hear more and more about guilt and shame, Russians seek all ways to stand out.