[P]art of the goal: restoring Russia as a leader of world opinion after the reputational damage it suffered in Ukraine, muscling in as a power broker that needs to be consulted in important crises far from its borders and sphere of influence […] But even members of the reliably shrill pro-Kremlin chorus seem to admit that nobody but Russia likes this configuration — and that Russia, like Pushkov said, doesn’t really need this at all.
A brand new 2015 Bentley Mulsanne sedan has an MSRP of $300,000, the combined take-home pay of twenty full-time McDonald’s employees. For not even $10 million US dollars you can have yourself 370 acres of lush Whiteland Coppice and white sandy beachfront a leisurely 2 hour catamaran trip from the coast of Grand Bahama. For $3 billion you might’ve been able to snake the Beats Electronics brand from Apple. Beats is primarily known for taking the ubiquitous studio- or “DJ”-style headphone design and redesigning it to be bulkier and dumber looking.
It seems these stratospheric price ranges suffer from a severe degree of diminishing returns. So maybe it’s not a surprise that $1.7 trillion dollars doesn’t afford you much more than an enormous barrel fire for your cash and a contagious cage fight between two of your most reviled enemies. Continue reading