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Dan leaned against the gym’s treadmill, speaking to a fit-looking British guy in his mid 40s. They were having one of the most electric conversations I had ever heard. It intrigued me enough to introduce myself. I learned that a few years previous, Dan had been working for a UK-based television company. A Russian headhunter (a corporate type, not an icepick wielder) offered to triple his income to work for a similar company in Russia.

I wondered how the Russian network could afford to pay so much. But then I recalled seeing so many examples of Russia’s economic growth. My wife and I were recently in Vietnam. Russians were everywhere: vacationing, buying real estate and opening businesses. We’ve traveled a lot over the past 20 years, visiting dozens of countries. But until recently, we hadn’t seen many Russians. It seemed that an increasing number of Russians were making bucket loads of money.

But their stocks were priced lower than fistfuls of ice. 

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