Pawnbroking up 15-20%

When everyone is losing money but Wal-Mart, we call that a signal; specifically, that people are pessimistic and will only spend money on things with low prices, everyday (now: “Save money. Live better” – weird). This is another signal of the same, thought markedly worse, kind:

Hard times in the US are benefiting pawnbrokers as beleaguered consumers pledge jewels, electronics and other goods in return for loans with interest rates running as high as 300 per cent a year.

Dave Adelman, president of the National Pawnbrokers Association, said the number of loans at US pawn shops had risen 15-20 per cent since October. He attributed the increase to rising fuel prices and deteriorating economic conditions – an assessment echoed by other industry executives.

On Manhattan’s 47th Street, the New York block through which about 90 per cent of US diamonds are sourced, some merchants report a sharp uptick in the amount of jewellery being brought in for sale.

“Its real sad – they don’t want to sell,” said Ruben, a 52-year-old street hawker who buys jewellery from passers-by in the diamond district.

“They might have paid $150,000 for a necklace but they will get back $25,000 or $30,000 at most. But it’s either that or lose their house.”

That would be a rung more than somewhat lower than sales only being up at discount retailers. This is made worse only by, say, the number of gold teeth being sold by immigrants going up significantly.

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