While waiting for the first estimates of the first round of the French presidential election, I found this fascinating article by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes on the BBC website about Russian billionaires suburbs.

Pot-pourri of the best parts:

Ever since I arrived in Russia I've heard tall stories of a secret city deep in the forests outside Moscow where the rich indulge their fantasies in sprawling palaces of marble and gold. It sounded like a good story. I didn't expect it to be true, let alone that I'd get an invite.

According to Forbes magazine Russia now has 60 billionaires. [...] Most of them live in Moscow, which, if I'm not much mistaken, makes the Russian capital home to more billionaires than any other city in the world.

It is quite a change for a place that 15 years ago had no millionaires, let alone billionaires.

Fifteen years ago everything in Russia was owned by the state. Today a quarter of Russia's economy is owned by 36 men.

While the whole story about how Russia's riches have ended up in the hands of only a few is definitely not funny, the life of these multi-billion families would make a great reality TV show à la Real Desperate Housewives of the Orange County.