Some of these are interesting.  Like, how is Moscow and Beijing be so expensive when they have so many people living in poverty in their countries (as defined by the UN of living on less than $2 a day ppp (purchasing power parity)?

Talk about income inequality. 

According to the World Bank:

According to Russia 30% of people live below poverty rate (their standard) according to the Internationals standard ($2 PPP) 7.5%.

According to China 6% live below the poverty line, according to international standards 46.7% live below the poverty line.

At least Russians are more honest. J

Lets look at the Gini Coefficient for fun to see the income inequality.

Russia is 39.9

China  44.7

To give you a range.  Japan is 24.9 (one of the flattest in the world) and one of the highest is Botswana at 63.

So I guess Russia and China are not that bad by international standards, but by developed nation standards if you are poor, you are REALLY REALLY poor and the rich are REALLY REALLY rich…similar to Latin America style economies.  Small middle class.

World’s most expensive cities 2007

1. Moscow

2. London

3. Seoul

4. Tokyo

5. Hong Kong

6. Copenhagen

7. Geneva

8. Osaka

9. Zurich

10. Oslo

11. Milan

12. St. Petersburg

13. Paris

14. Singapore

15. New York City

16. Dublin

17. Tel Aviv

18. Rome

19. Vienna

20. Beijing