The Price of Protection

An epidemic of kidnappings has led affluent Mexicans to pay $4000 to have secret transmitters implanted in their arms, which can pinpoint their location by satellite.

Harrods now sells bulletproof shirts, blazers, raincoats, leather jackets, and ties, and a $12,000 polo shirt that can resist shots from a Mini Uzi.

Thanks to widespread fear of robberies and violence in Brazil's cities, in the second half of 2007, an estimated 7500 bulletproof cars were sold in that country.

Russian oligarchs are buying up houses in a walled compound outside Moscow (prices start at $13 million), with a security team and housing for residents' bodyguards just outside the gates.

In California, private-security companies have reported a spike in the purchase of "safe rooms" — chambers that protect owners from nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks — that can include pizza kitchens, movie theaters, and putting greens, so leisure time won't be held hostage to the apocalypse.

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