Notable and Quotable

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rick LaChappelle, owner of four pawnshops in Maine, calculates he has lent about 33% more money this year than last. "The banking industry is not giving out any money right now," he said. "So people are relying on second-tier lending institutions."

--From a front page WSJ article this morning entitled "People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs"

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

6 Comments
Posted December 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Byzantine wrote:

An entry-level engineer driving a Cadillac Escalade, wearing a $3,000 watch that he’s trying to pawn to make a $2,500 mortgage payment ... I’m supposed to feel sorry for these people?  And these are the people to whom we expect banks to loan money?  This young fool is in it up to his neck already.  The last thing he needs is more debt.

December 30, 3:17 pm | [comment link]
2. Jeffersonian wrote:

I think Byzantine put his finger squarely on it:  Banks aren’t loaning money to these people because they are have proven that they will do foolish things with it and likely not pay it back, precisely the kind of behavior that got us into the financial crisis to begin with.  Even though this fellow is more than likely going to go bankrupt, the story itself is good news insofar as banks are acting prudently.

December 30, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
3. Byzantine wrote:

J,

Take a look at this:  http://www.streetsofbuckhead.com/

The project forges ahead.  After all, the contracts have been signed and the materials purchased, and there’s a lot of good, solid tradesmen with families who now have all that money in their pockets instead of some 30-year old fund manager.  Maybe they’re banking on a steady stream of cash-rich rap stars and pro athletes?  Might want to tweak their marketing, in that event.  And those multi-million dollar condo towers referenced in the accompanying article are two-thirds to three-quarters empty.  Eventually, the developers will just declare bankruptcy and twenty households will have to figure out how they can raise a million bucks to keep the elevators and HVAC running.

Anyhoo, maybe you could stop by sometime in late 2009.  You’ll be able to purchase a $300 tie in an atmosphere of utmost solicitiousness, seeing as you’ll be the only customer they’ve seen all week.  I’m sorry to say I won’t be there, because in the twice-a-decade event I have to buy a suit or tie I just wait for a sale at J. A. Bank’s.  And since I didn’t make business decisions on the assumption that Atlanta would be populated by millionaires who shopped at Hermes, then this is going to be fun to watch.

December 30, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
4. Jeffersonian wrote:

I don’t begrudge anyone who can afford to live in places like Streets of Buckhead, I really don’t.  I sincerely hope the project sells out and is an unqualified success.

But I really have to wonder who lives in these places, to be honest.  My BIL and SIL live not far from Atlanta.  They’re hardly poor:  He’s a VP of a corporation I’m certain you’ve heard of, she’s a small business owner and they don’t live at anything like this level, but probably could if they stretched themselves to the utmost.  I’m hoping that’s not what at work in SoB, but it probably is.

December 30, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
5. TomRightmyer wrote:

Lands End overstocks are even less expensive than Banks and of equal or better quality.  I’ve been buying clothes from Banks since the late 1950’s, but their retail expansion and efforts to be like Brooks Brothers have not helped them.

December 30, 6:28 pm | [comment link]
6. jkc1945 wrote:

Last month, I bought a Brooks Brothers suit and an Armani suit, both needed to have the pants hem let out about an inch, the jacket fit very well, total cost $22.00, (including sales tax) at Goodwill Industries store.  The style was acceptably new, and the condition was excellent.  I wonder what the guy who originally bought these suits, and then outgrew them, paid for them?  And I wonder how long our society can go on like this, on a much larger scale?

December 31, 8:20 am | [comment link]
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