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NPA Weekly NewsBrief
Aug. 4, 2009  
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People Turning to Pawnshops for Cash
from KGO-TV
With banks tightening, and credit and jobs hard to come by, more and more people are turning to one of the oldest ways of getting quick cash. That might explain why business is brisk these days at the Pacific Loan and Jewelry shop in San Francisco. While the economy sinks, business there rises. Like pawn shops all over the country, Pacific Loan is getting up to 30 percent more business than last year. It is writing up to 120 loans each and every day, more than the average bank branch. More

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Electronic System Credited for Recovery of Stolen Violin
from WCMH-TV
The use of a new electronic system is being credited for the recovery of a stolen violin at a pawnshop. The Columbus Police Property Recovery Unit in Columbus, Ohio, uses an electronic system called Leads on Line, where scrap metal dealers report their daily transactions. The company provided a 90-day free trial for pawnshop reporting, and Columbus police requested that several pawnshops voluntarily use the system to file daily reports. More

Geithner Says Unemployment May Peak in Second Half of 2010
from Bloomberg
The U.S. unemployment rate may not peak until the second half of 2010, possibly necessitating another extension in unemployment benefits, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. More

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A Plague of Ready Money?
from The Washington Post
Ivan Rivas was among the steady stream of customers to emerge from Check Cash Depot into a small, dusty strip mall in the Prince George County community of Maryland, defined by pawnshops, liquor stores and fast-food restaurants. "It's better than the bank," Rivas said of the Depot. More

Payday Lenders Giving Lobbyists Big Paydays to Stop Interest Cap
from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The latest bid to regulate Wisconsin's payday lending industry is turning into a big bonanza for the Madison lobbying corps, as more than two dozen influence-peddlers fight a proposed 36 percent cap on interest rates. At stake is the future of the much-maligned industry that provides small short-term loans with double-digit interest rates. Those rates can skyrocket - quickly hitting 400 percent or more yearly - as borrowers unable to pay off their debts repeatedly roll over the loans. More

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Gold Advances for Third Day in Asia as Dollar Extends Decline
from Bloomberg
Gold advanced for a third day as signs of recovery in the global economy weakened the dollar and increased demand for the precious metal. The Dollar Index, a six-currency gauge of the greenback’s strength, dipped to a 2009 low before the release of a report expected to show U.S. manufacturing conditions were their best in almost a year last month. Gold sales proposed by the International Monetary Fund may limit gains, Citigroup Inc. said in a report last week. More

Bling It On for Those Too Posh for Pawnbrokers
from Wilmslow Express
Bling is being turned into ka-ching as Wilmslow and Alderley Edge's upper crust in London have their own means of coping with the credit crunch. But whisper it quietly, because this is not something that the town's glitterati and well-do-to residents are bragging about. As the recession drags on, and the area's most successful people begin to feel the pinch too, they are increasingly turning to an intriguing - and discrete - new service called Sparkle Money for clients too posh for pawnbrokers. More

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Guns: Demand Above Normal, Stores Can’t Keep Up
from The Olympian
The Big Recession doesn’t exist at Cascade Arms Co. in Olympian, Wash. Each day, a steady stream of customers strolls into the small shop to buy rifles, shotguns, handguns and ammunition. The firearms business – manufacturing and selling – has boomed since November nationwide. Gun stores can’t keep popular models in stock, and ammunition is selling as fast as it arrives. More

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Platinum May Rise to $1,500 on Supply Disruptions, Merrill Says
from Bloomberg
Platinum prices may climb above $1,500 an ounce “in the next couple of years” as demand recovers amid supply constraints in South Africa, the world’s biggest producer, according to Banc of America Securities- Merrill Lynch. The precious metal has almost halved from last year’s high of $2,301.50 an ounce as investors liquidated physical positions and demand from industrial users saw a sharp drop, prompting miners to reduce investments, Michael Widmer, the bank’s London- based metals strategist, wrote in a report dated July 24. More


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