The crisis in Russia is just as bad as in America... Lots of lay-offs, big money lost on the stock market, etc... It doesn't stem from the housing market mortgage fiasco, but it does share problematic speculation on futures on the stock market in valuing oil. And yet -- gas is still just as expensive now, even though the price of crude oil has plummeted from $200 a barrel to $50...
I hear people say that the situation will be bad for a while, but not necessarily to the extent it will be in the USA.
It's pretty gut-wrenching; clients backing out of deals means less work to be done, which translates into not billing the necessary amount of hours to get yearly bonuses, which translates into many expats then not making enough at the end of the year to cover the extra costs of living here -- costs not covered by expat packages (usually school fees, a second trip home per year to the US, and inflation in rent/grocery prices).
Charities are suffering, too; there's less money to be donated to them.
The yellow sign in the picture? "Be Cautious! Save your money in several banks in several currencies." At the top of the sign? A note saying the sign is sponsored by the Minister of Finance!
Oh -- look at the picture above again. Don't you just love how people park? And isn't that traffic delightful?