Michael Panzner, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, explains why it is a good thing the recession is over:
It’s a Good Thing
It’s a good thing we’re in a recovery and there’s no real prospect of another downturn (at least that’s what Wall Street “strategists” and politicians keep telling us). Otherwise, reports like these might be a cause for concern:
“Pawn Shops Go Upscale for Affluent Clients” (USA Today)
Maybe it’s the original artwork displayed around the office or the soft lighting, paneled walls, Persian rugs and leather furniture. The receptionist adds to the aura, too. So does the TV screen turned to a financial-news channel.
Whatever the reason, Biltmore Loan and Jewelry feels more like a stock brokerage or private-banking office than a pawn shop.
“We want to give people a professional option with dignity,” said David Goldstein, Biltmore’s president and a veteran jewelry retailer. “We’re private, quick and discreet.”
Pawn-brokering might be associated more with dingy storefronts cluttered with junk and customers desperate to scrape up enough cash for groceries or rent. But the recession, credit crunch and slow economic recovery have hit Americans up and down the socio-economic ladder, and that has created an opportunity to serve a more high-end clientele for firms like Biltmore.
“We’re seeing an increase in these kind of stores in Beverly Hills and other affluent neighborhoods,” said Emmett Murphy, a spokesman for the National Pawnbrokers Association. “People in all walks of life are in need of short-term credit.”
Americans’ economic outlook weakens more than ratings of current conditions
PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged -27 for the week ending July 15, down four points from -23 each of the prior two weeks. This extends a gradual decline in confidence …
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For an update of the “good” news, see Mr. Panzner’s follow-up.