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When the tough go shopping...

When the going gets tough for the economy, the tough go shopping… for luxury cars. That’s the story from Russia. Rich people are rushing to use their cash before it devalues, buying up luxury goods like tomorrow won’t come. Latest figures show sales of Porsches up by 55%, while those for Lexus have risen by 60%. Dealerships have had to hire extra staff to manage the on-rush.

Shiny new cars are wonderful things. But they are usually a lousy investment because their real value (what you can raise in cash if you need to sell them quickly) usually drops by 20% from the moment you first drive them. But Russia’s economy is in dire straits. Western sanctions in response to Russia’s incursions into neighbouring Ukraine meant that it is hard for the country to export. Meanwhile, the country relies heavily on sales of its oil and gas – and world wholesale prices for both are falling – for oil,  its value has halved within a year.

As a result, the value of the rouble against other currencies is collapsing. And so well–off Russians are putting what they have into tangible assets. Even if they lose value as we’ve described above, they remain for now a better bet than hard cash.

Cops and robbers

Next, to the US. You would think, wouldn’t you, that any experienced police officer would know enough to ensure that a prisoner isn’t left so that they can drive off in your patrol car.

But cops in Pittsburgh let their attention wander for a moment and 27yo Roxanne Rimer took her chance. Although she was handcuffed, Rimer got behind the wheel, started the cruiser and sped off. Police said she reached speeds of up to 100mph before abandoning the vehicle after crashing it.

An accomplice in another vehicle then picked her up and pursuing police finally stopped the pair after 10 miles. She now adds a string of vehicle and driving offences to a charge sheet that already listed aggravated assault and robbery. She awaits trial.

Meanwhile, the police car she took suffered severe front-end collision damage. It was the third theft of a police vehicle in a week for the Pittsburgh force.

 

Why anger is never useful

Finally, if you’re a politician you can never afford to show your temper. New York senator Thomas O’Mara knows this to his cost, after a secret recording of him losing it has received wide coverage by the press. O’Mara was approached by a man as he drove into a petrol station. As our video shows he spent a good while chatting equably to the man, who recorded his views on local issues.

But then, suddenly, O’ Mara explodes into anger (this part comes at 4min 15sec into the video). We apologise in advance for this choice of language, but he says: "For crying out loud what the fuck do you mean that's interesting? I did nothing but sit here answering your fucking questions and you tell me that's fucking interesting? You're a fucking douchebag, get the fuck out of my face, right now. Now! Move. Move. Move, asswipe, now. I've had enough of you and your kind. Get the fuck out of here. I've had enough."

Not surprisingly, once the un-named man’s film went public, O’Mara was forced to issue an apology.

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