Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) — The worse the economy gets, the better it is for Jordan Tabach-Bank.
“Business is booming,” said Tabach-Bank, the chief executive officer of Beverly Loan Co. in Beverly Hills, California.
Beverly Loan is a pawnshop. Not just any pawnshop, but the kind that caters to people who hock Cartiers, Harley- Davidsons and Oscar statuettes when they need cash. They really need it now, Tabach-Bank said from a third-floor office, protected by bulletproof glass, off his showroom in the Bank of America building near Rodeo Drive.
“I’ve never seen so many bankers, lawyers, doctors and actors” with valuable things to pawn, he said. He pointed to an 18-carat white gold bracelet with 69 diamonds ($2,900) and an 18-carat yellow gold Rolex Yachtmaster II (“a steal” at $18,500).
With credit drying up at regular lenders, “in many cases now, we’re not just the bank of last resort,” Tabach-Bank said. “We’re the bank of only resort.”
High-end pawnshops aren’t like most of the 10,000 dealers affiliated with the National Pawnbrokers Association, a Keller, Texas-based trade group. The average U.S. pawn transaction is $75, according to the association’s Web site.
$2.7 Million Necklace
At Tabach-Bank’s shop, “confidential collateral loans,” as they’re called, have been made on art works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Amounts loaned range from several thousand dollars to “six- and seven-figure deals,” he said, with clients using the money to cover the mortgage, make alimony payments or finance cosmetic surgery.
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