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December 30th, 2008
10:42 AM ET

Pawnshops now attracting the rich

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/30/art.money.bill.jpg]

Gary Fields
The Wall Street Journal

At Society Hill Loan, a pawnshop in a middle-class neighborhood here, a steady rain fell outside as a fashionably dressed young man parked his Cadillac Escalade outside. Looking around warily, he came in to speak with Nat Leonard, co-owner of the store.

The visitor was a 29-year-old engineer who was laid off earlier this year from one of the local chemical companies. Since then, he's been cleaning planes at the airport for less than half the salary he was earning a year ago.

Now he needs a $2,500 loan on his watch - a Movado Fiero with a diamond bezel - to pay his mortgage note.

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Filed under: Economy • Finance
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. GF, Los Angeles

    That's so sad to read about small business owners who are losing so much. If we all lived more frugally and saved regardless of income, maybe most of us would survive this financial crisis better.

    December 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  2. JC- Los Angeles

    In our morally bankrupt nation, it's appalling to see and hear what endless Americans are doing.

    Here in California, the grocery stores no longer allow cash back on credit card purchases since the corrupt are taking the cash and defaulting on credit card payments.

    Others with investment properties who have renters in them, are cashing the rent checks while failing to pay the mortgage; the renters eventually get thrown out.

    Now we see people going to pawn shops with goods most likely purchased on credit cards; they'll take the cash and stick it to the bank.

    Many of us saw this coming years ago but no one bothered to ask.

    December 30, 2008 at 1:05 pm |