Monday, November 24, 2008


"Pawnbrokers in the Russian capital are enjoying the global credit crunch. The world's worst economic crisis for 80 years has hit Russia hard. Its stock market has dived by over 70 percent since May and the government has promised to spend $200 billion (135 billion pounds) propping up its main banks and businesses. But for Vadim Karashuk, head of Moscow's 16 state-owned pawn shops, business is good. "We're lending out more cash now than ever because the banks are giving less credit," he said, flicking a gold cigarette lighter between his fingers during an interview at his spacious central Moscow office. He estimated his shops now loan around $200,000 a day -- about 15 percent of the total for all Moscow's state and private pawn shops -- compared to about $130,000 two months ago." (Yahoo News, 16 November) RD

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