Return of Chinese buyers from New Year holiday to rally gold as central banks buy most in 50 years
Posted on 15 February 2013
Bearish noises in the gold pit have lowered prices again this week but the real reason for the price fall is the absence of the world’s most voracious buyers, the Chinese who are on a national holiday this week for their New Year, though they have been buying in the gold souks of Dubai instead.
Global central banks bought more gold last year than at any time in the past 50 years, according to figures published yesterday by the World Gold Council. They added 535 tons to reserves, 17 per cent more than in 2011. Gold prices rose for a 12th successive year.
The bear argument against gold is that economic growth is picking up in the US and China and will divert investment into stocks and away from disaster insurance like gold. That can only really stack up if you believe economic growth is actually about to accelerate.
Unexpectedly GDP in the US did not grow at all in Q4 and recent Chinese trade data is a fiction according to many Asian economists. Besides if the world economy does grow a bit faster this year it will be entirely down to money printing by the global central banks who continue to hedge their own inflation risk with gold.
Individuals are likely to do the same and hedge funds could quickly switch back to being bullion positive. Our local ‘Mr. Gold’ in Dubai thinks the gold price will bottom at current levels and not test the $1,500 an ounce level that chartists have as a potential floor.
Chinese liquidity coming back into the bullion market is probably all it takes. China is the biggest global gold consumer and overtook India sometime last year. They always love to snap up a bargain and with gold on sale should be back with a bang from their holidays.
ArabianMoney does not buy the argument about Chinese growth being bearish for gold. If it is true then the inflation risk is elevated again and the Chinese know gold is the best way to diversify their foreign exchange reserves.
Gold legend Jim Sinclair has highlighted the Chinese as the savoirs of the gold price in 2013 with the first Chinese ETF on the horizon . We think the current price weakness is just down to the absence of Chinese buyers for their New Year.
Sell your gold cheaply now and you will regret it as the price goes up again. Mr. Sinclair’s conservative price target is still $3,500 an ounce.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:22 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
By Daniel J. Mitchell
I’m understandably partial to my video debunking Keynesian economics, and I think this Econ 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity does a great job of showing why consumer spending is a consequence of growth, not the driver.
But for entertainment value, this very funny video from EconStories.tv puts them to shame while also making important points about what causes economic growth.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
This is the time of the year when Americans run out to their favorite retail stores and fill up their shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic crap made by workers in foreign countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. By doing this, the American people are actively participating in the destruction of the U.S. economy. You see, buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride. It is a matter of national survival. If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country. If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate. Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars. More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead. If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe. As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth. Both major political parties have sold us out on these issues, and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day. We desperately need a resurgence of economic patriotism in the United States before it is too late.
Yes, I know that it is very tempting to buy foreign-made products. After all, they are almost always cheaper.
But most people don’t often think about why they are cheaper.
Unfortunately, in the name of “free trade” American workers have been merged into a global labor pool where they have to compete directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. This makes employing American workers a tremendous liability.
If a company hires you and pays you 10 to 15 dollars an hour with benefits, how is it going to compete with another company that pays workers a dollar an hour with no benefits on the other side of the planet?
Both major political parties are pushing this emerging “one world economic system“, but it is absolutely killing American jobs. We have already seen a mass exodus of jobs and businesses out of this country, and wages for the jobs that remain in the United States are being forced down because there are hordes of unemployed workers that are willing to take just about any decent job they can find.
It has become painfully obvious that our politicians are not going to do anything to help us on these issues, so what we need is a mass awakening among the American people.
We need to educate people that buying things that are made in America is good for the economy and that buying things that are made elsewhere is bad for the economy.
But for now, most Americans are clueless. They will line up on Black Friday morning and trample one another in a desperate attempt to save a few bucks on cheap plastic devices that were made on the other side of the planet.
And they will pay for much of this “shopping” with credit cards.
Credit card debt is on the rise once again. In fact, average credit card debt per borrower was 4.9 percent higher in the third quarter of 2012 than it was in the third quarter of 2011. It looks like most of us didn’t learn our lessons from the last financial crisis.
But not all Americans enjoy the shopping that is typically involved with this time of the year. One recent survey found that approximately 45 percent of all Americans think that there is so much financial pressure associated with the holidays that they wouldn’t mind skipping them completely.
That same poll found that approximately 41 percent of all Americans would only be able to survive for two weeks without a paycheck. Many Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt, their incomes are not keeping up with rising prices, and they find themselves scratching and clawing just to make it from month to month.
Meanwhile, we continue to destroy our own jobs and businesses by spending our money on products that have been made outside the country.
The following are 55 reasons why you should buy products that are made in America this holiday season…
1. When you buy products that are made in America you support American workers.
2. When you buy products that are made in America you support companies that are doing business in America.
4. The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.
5. Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion. That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.
7. When NAFTA was passed in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. In 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.
8. One professor has estimated that cutting the U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.
9. Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the globe since 1975. That 8 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. businesses and pay the wages of U.S. workers. Federal, state and local taxes would also have been paid on that 8 trillion dollars if it had stayed in the United States.
10. According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
11. The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
12. According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, the United States has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years.
13. During 2010 alone, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities permanently shut down in the United States every single day.
14. Overall, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
15. The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
16. Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
17. As I have written about previously, 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs.
18. Due in part to the globalization of the labor pool, only about 24 percent of all jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.
20. The United States now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.
21. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every $1 billion of goods that are imported from overseas.
22. As our economic infrastructure is gutted, formerly great manufacturing cities all over America are being transformed into festering hellholes.
24. In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China. In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.
25. The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
26. Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China’s high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.
27. In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
28. The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.
29. Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
30. The Chinese undervalue their currency by about 40 percent in order to gain a critical advantage over foreign competitors. This means that many Chinese companies are able to absolutely thrive while their competition in the United States goes out of business.
31. According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.
32. In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.
33. Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.
34. Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.
35. In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.
36. In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel. The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.
37. In 2010, China produced 7.3 million metric tons of cotton. The United States only produced 3.4 million metric tons of cotton.
38. Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.
39. 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
40. Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.
41. China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems. How stupid can we possibly be?
42. According to author Clyde Prestowitz, China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, during 2010 the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.
43. All over the United States, road and bridge projects are being outsourced to Chinese firms. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent ABC News article….
In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
“When we subsidize jobs in China, we’re not creating any wealth in the United States,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
44. The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.
45. The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
46. The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.
47. The Chinese economy is projected to be larger than the U.S. economy by 2016.
48. One economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
49. In recent years the U.S. economy has embraced “free trade” and the emerging one world economy like never before. Instead of increasing the number of jobs in our economy, it has resulted in the worst stretch of job creation in the United States in modern history….
If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.
50. If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.
51. China now holds approximately more than a trillion dollars of U.S. government debt. If you were alive back when Jesus was born and you had spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent that much money by now.
52. Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s highly touted “Jobs Council”, has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States.
53. Without enough good jobs, more Americans than ever before are falling into poverty. Today, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.
54. According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.
55. If U.S. consumers do not start supporting U.S. workers and U.S. businesses, eventually we will all be so poor that very few of us will be able to afford to buy any gifts during the holiday season.
View full post on The Economic Collapse
British owners of holiday homes in France are to be hit with punitive tax rises under plans announced by the new Socialist government.
President François Hollande is seeking to tax the better-off
By Henry Samuel, Paris
9:49PM BST 04 Jul 2012
Approximately 200,000 Britons own second homes in areas such as the Dordogne and other parts of France, particularly those serviced by budget airlines.
Now, however, holiday home owners find themselves in the sights of President François Hollande as he seeks to tax the better-off to reduce France’s large budget deficit.
On Wednesday (July 4th), the French government announced it was to increase taxes on foreign-owned second homes. Tax on rental income would rise from 20 per cent to 35.5 per cent, and capital gains tax on property sales would rise from 19 per cent to 34.5 per cent. The extra in each case is being labelled a "social charge".
A Treasury source said on Wednesday night: "We will need to study the details. But we will of course challenge any proposal which breaches European single market laws and anti-discrimination rules."
It is understood that President Sarkozy proposed a similar tax increase last year which was also challenged by the British Government.
The rise in tax on rental income will be retrospective, from Jan 1 this year. The increase in capital gains tax applies from the end of this month, meaning property owners will have little time to escape the increased tax by selling their homes.
David Cameron infuriated the French last month by promising Britain would "roll out the red carpet" to wealthy French citizens and companies who wanted to emigrate and pay their taxes in Britain.
Holiday home owners already pay two other taxes to the French government: the taxe fonciere, which is paid by the house owner and the taxe d’habitation, which is paid by those who live in it.
The tax rises are part of a wider package of increases that are intended to raise €7.2 billion (£5.8 billion) to meet a budget deficit target of 4.5 per cent after the government of Nicolas Sarkozy left the French exchequer with an expenditure black hole.
An additional €2.3 billion (£1.8 billion) will be raised from a levy on those whose net wealth is €1.3 million (£1 million).
"If the law is introduced, the effective rate of French capital gains tax will almost double for EU residents on their French property capital gains," said Graeme Perry, a partner at Sykes Anderson, which advises British citizens on French residences. He said the move ran the risk of further damaging the property market in France, "particularly at the higher end".
The French finance ministry said the new rule would affect about 60,000 rental properties in France whose owners made an average profit of £12,000.
It said this would add €50 million (£40 million) to French revenue this year and €250 million in 2013. Jean-Claude Cassac, the secretary general of the French estate agency federation, in the Dordogne, home to thousands of British expatriates and holiday home owners, said the new move was a "catastrophe".
"The plummeting pound meant that the English had almost disappeared from the Dordogne house market. With this, it’s as if they want to totally kill off the foreign home owner market in France."
Last month Mr Cameron told a business summit in Mexico: "I think it’s wrong to have a completely uncompetitive top rate of tax. If the French go ahead with a 75 per cent top rate of tax we will roll out the red carpet and welcome more French businesses to Britain."
Under the double taxation system, UK residents deduct any tax paid at source in France on French gains from the UK tax on the same gains. But if the French tax is higher, they will receive no rebate.
Paul Smith, a partner at accountants Blick Rothenburg said: "The UK Government is subsidising the French. It will be collecting less income tax off taxpayers who have houses in France."
There are an estimated total 360,000 non-resident second home owners in France.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:52 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
20 Reasons Why America’s Next Bank Holiday Will Be a Nightmare
James Wesley Rawles
June 18th, 2012
This article has been generously contributed for your reading pleasure by James Rawles of Survival Blog.
The world is on now on the brink of a global credit crisis that could be far worse than the tumultuous events of 2008. The ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the southern reaches of the Eurozone indicate that bank runs in the region will continue, and that more bank closure “holidays” will be declared. Under a bank holiday, virtually all deposits could be frozen and irredeemable for days, weeks, or even months. The key question is: Will this crisis spread to the rest of Europe and then even to the United States? I urge SurvivalBlog readers–particularly those in Europe–to be proactive, to stay “ahead of the power curve.” While the Generally Dumb Public (GDP) wakes up some morning to hear news of a bank holiday, you will have long hence prepared yourself.
Digits Lost in the Ether–Redeemable Mañana?
Most people don’t realize that printed U.S. currency and minted coins amount to less than $800 billion, worldwide. That is just a small portion of the aggregate Money Zero Maturity (MZM) money supply that now exceeds $7 Trillion. So what is in your bank account is just electronic money, and there is absolutely no way that even a fraction of depositors could get physical cash to redeem the digits in their accounts. If there is a bank holiday declared, there will undoubtedly be severe restrictions on cash withdrawals when banks re-open. Given the precedent of the limits on withdrawals of a few institutions during the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, I predict that withdrawal restrictions could go on for many months.
Here are 20 Reasons why America’s next bank holiday will be a nightmare:
A bank holiday will create a virtual blackout of information on not just checking and saving accounts, but also automated mortgage payments, CDs, and more. Our presently quite transparent banking system will suddenly become opaque. Your bank balance will become invisible. Your handy-dandy online banking web page will be replaced by a “Service Temporarily Unavailable” notice. The willingness to accept checks will evaporate in less than a day. The FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) will be overwhelming.
Most businesses will no longer honor personal checks, corporate checks, or bank money orders. Showing a merchant your most recent bank statement isn’t likely to sway him. Again, the FUD factor will rule.
All checks in the U.S. are cleared through the automated clearinghouse (ACH)network. Most of this network is inside of banking system firewalls. Many Federal, State, and local tax payments are also handled through ACH. (A similar network exists for European banks–the Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH), under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) system).
Credit cards might not be accepted. The FUD factor will dictate that anything even peripherally related to the banking system will be suspect. (Even though the credit card companies have their own credit clearing mechanisms that are only attached to the banking milieu.)
Except for a few grandfathered recipients, Social Security payments are now made exclusively via bank direct deposit.
Military monthly pay, housing allowances, and ration payments are now made exclusively via bank direct deposit, in CONUS. That is true virtually across the board (Active component, Reserve, and National Guard.) Ditto for monthly military retirement payments.
Many State and Federal employees no longer get physical paychecks. They too, are trapped in the “direct deposit only” world.
Many Americans are now very dependent on bank debit cards (also known as a bank cards or check cards.) In fact, many people don’t even carry more than a few dollars in their wallets. If our world suddenly goes “cash only” most people will suddenly be out of cash.
ATMs, debit card transactions, and online banking can be shut down in minutes. This huge vulnerability of banking customers has already been evidenced by a few minor glitches.
Online payment systems like PayPal will be sharply degraded, because they rely on their ability to move funds to and from banks. More importantly, online payments are inextricably tied to credit card processing. If credit card processing is suspended, then online payments will be “dead in the water.”
Many regular monthly payments such as mortgages, insurance premiums, and some utilities are automatically debited from checking accounts. These will all come to a screeching halt.
SWIFT wire transfers will probably be suspended, freezing a good portion of global commerce. Similarly, International ACH transactions (IATs) will also be shut down, since they access the U.S. ACH network.
The ability to process credit card payments will be dubious, at best. Many merchants will wisely “just say no” to credit cards, even if their countertop POP terminals are still functioning and show available credit. And the fact that many credit cards are now just debit cards in disguise will only add to the reluctance of merchants to take any credit cards.
Point of purchase (POP) processing of credit and debit cards at gas stations has become ubiquitous. Nearly everyone now uses the “pay at the pump” option. Gas and diesel could become “cash only” transactions.
Most American families keep less than $300 in cash at home at any given time, including their kids’ piggy banks. For most families, that wouldn’t cover even one month’s rent.
Formerly distributed as “Food Stamps”, the USDA‘s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides benefits to low income families through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card payments. These cards look much like credit cards. And like checks, EBT payments are all routed through the ACH network. Again, this is a network that is inside banking system firewalls. If the banking system goes into holiday mode, then it may take days or even weeks to get EBT processing back on line. If the EBT payments stop, we can expect riots in metropolitan areas in less than a week.
Gift cards will be “iffy.” There are now two types of gift cards: “open loop” (or “network”) cards and traditional “closed loop” cards. Open loop cards are issued by banks or credit card companies and can be redeemed many places. It is likely that only closed loop cards will be honored by the issuing stores, because merchants will fear that open loop cards might have been zeroed out elsewhere. (If they can’t confirm the available balance, the card will be refused.)
Most Internet vendors are almost entirely dependent on credit card processing. If that processing system is disrupted, then mailorder firms will either have to cease operations, or have them slow to a snail’s pace, and be restricted to only non-bank money orders.
Reversion to U.S. Postal Service money orders (commonly called “PMOs“) will only be partially viable solution. This is because many small town and rural post offices don’t keep enough cash in their tills to be able to hand you $1,000 when you go to cash a PMO. You may be thinking, “Oh well, I’ll just ask them to write me a blank PMO, in exchange. Nope. A recent change to postal regulations designed to curtail money laundering banned money order-for-money order issuance. Bummer. And if you are considering using “Forever” postage stamps, hold your horses. Under a hygiene regulation published in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), postal clerks are not allowed to cash out (“buy back”) stamp booklets unless they are still in their sealed clear plastic master packages. So it might take decades to use up your Forever stamps, or you will be forced to liquidate them on the gray market at a slight loss.
Bank safe deposit boxes will probably be inaccessible. Plan accordingly.
Some Observations and Mitigation Steps:
Because so many pay and retirement benefit systems are now handled via bank direct deposit only, we could easily live through a frustrating “Roach Motel” period of several months when “Dollars check in, but they don’t check out.” Be prepared to ride through that period.
If the European credit spreads to the United States, then immediately visit your company’s payroll office, and ask to be removed from their direct deposit system. This change might take a couple weeks. With a paper paycheck, you can probably cash it elsewhere, even if you own bank closes its doors–perhaps even at your local grocery store.
Keep plenty of well-hidden cash at home. Since it won’t be earning interest, some of this cash might as well be in $2 rolls of nickels. That method will also give you a hedge on inflation, and also serve as insurance against a currency reform. (Where a zero could be lopped off the Dollar, overnight.)
Be prepared for times for when anything other than greenback cash or perhaps silver coins will be eyed with suspicion, or rejected outright. Even USPS PMOs and drug store money orders may be refused. In the era of bank holidays, cash will talk. Keep plenty of it on hand. Oh, and needless to say, don’t store your cash in a bank safe deposit box. You probably won’t have access to it during a bank holiday.
Be wise and circumspect in storing cash at home. Don’t tell anyone other than your spouse about that cash. See the SurvivalBlog archives for suggestions on building secret hiding places, like this one.
A good portion of your “stash of cash” should be in the form of $1 and $5 bills. This is because during a banking crisis, many people will not be able make change for small transactions. And if your local power, water, and phone companies refuse checks, then you will need to be able to pay them the exact amount of your monthly bill. (They probably won’t have much “change”, either.)
Apply for at least one gasoline station chain charge card. In turbulent times when they won’t take your check or your VISA card, they might still take their own chain card.
If you have to pay your utility bills in in cash or by PMO, do you know where their business offices are located? And consider the sort neighborhood where those offices are located. (Unless you live in a free state for open carry or Constitutional Carry, do you have your CCW permit, and plenty of pistol practice?) For safety, it might be wise to form a neighborhood posse to go pay those bills in a group of of six people once a month.
Your local supermarket may declare “cash only.” This is yet another reason why it it is vitally important for every family to have a comprehensive food storage program. By the same token, fuel storage also makes sense, if your local fire code allows it.
At the tail end of a banking crisis–when the bank doors do re-open–the Federal Reserve will certainly have to crank up the printing presses. Even people that never had “mattress money” will want some. All this new cash will increase the velocity of money, locally. This will be inflationary, even at the same time that a the macro level, we will witness a huge dollar deflation. (This is because the multiplier effectof every dollar on deposit will work in reverse, as withdrawals are made.) These will be strange times, indeed. If you start to see any evidence of mass inflation kicking in, then be ready to spend your dollars as quickly as possible to parlay them into practical, barterable tangibles. Don’t be the last one standing in the game of Dollar Musical Chairs.
The threats of credit crunches, bank runs, and bank holidays are not new. No society is immune from them. We’ve been fortunate here in the United States to have not suffered any limits on bank withdrawals since the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. But don’t expect this stability to be permanent. We live in a dynamic world with rapidly changing threats to our lives and livelihoods. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:29 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
Is The Pawn Shop The New Spot For Holiday Shopping?
December 9, 2011 8:45 AM
GARDEN CITY (WWJ) – Doing your holiday shopping at the pawn shop? WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports that’s not so odd anymore.
Tom Blaine owns the Garden City Exchange and says his business though October is already up 49 percent over December of last year. The bad economy means he’s getting people selling new and high-end electronics like iPads and he says the popularity of reality shows mean people aren’t as embarrassed to shop there.
“Sometimes I’m sure they are. They might want to try and make it look as new as possible,” said Blaine. “But, you know, times are tough. People don’t mind as much. They’re looking for a deal more than anything.”
Shopper Jason Miller has no problem buying gifts there.
“Yeah, it’s a good place to shop. You know, you get a good deal on everything,” he said. “My daughter plays video games and everything for like the (Nintendo) Wii. So, if I found some good deals on Wii games I’d come up here and pick ‘em up.”
Brian Lesher says it’s better than the mall.
“They’re selling, you know, mass-produced stuff. You know, where you can find more unique stuff here at pawn shops,” said Lesher.
Lesher said he once bought a girlfriend a diamond ring at the pawn shop. And, no, he didn’t tell her where it came from.
“It’s the thought that counts, right? If it looks good, I mean, you shouldn’t ask questions like that,” he added, with a laugh.
Blaine said he does provide brand new boxes with jewelry purchases.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:25 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com