June 15, 2008

UK Headline: "Parents pawn Aston Martins and Rolexes to pay school fees"


I was gonna write something witty to go along with that headline, some tie-in between Scottsdale and London, overconsumption, false fronts, and how debt doesn't equal wealth, but figured you guys could do an even better job.

Have at it.


Wealthy parents are taking their Rolexes, Aston Martins and diamond rings to pawnbrokers to pay private school bills and holidays as the credit crunch continues to bite.

Rich professionals are using their valuable assets as a returnable deposit, or 'pledge', to secure a short-term, no-questions-asked loan.

One pawnbroker reported a "significant increase" in the number of high-value items being pledged in the last year and noted repeated visits from some professionals.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The wealthy are just being environmentally aware. By trading in their Astons, they won't be wasting so much gas, they won't be contributing to London street congestion, and they will be able to get some exercise pedaling around town, while still raising their kids to be well-educated Aston Martin owner wannabes.

And it's hard to tell the difference between a glass ring and a diamond one from 5 feet away. The parents are simply educating their children that one doesn't need to be ostentatious to look meet fashion.

Next they can teach their children that just eating tomato soup is perfectly fine for meals and it helps keep off the excess weight. Very healthy.

Anonymous said...

Let's put this into perspective. Not all Brits have Astons. I travel extensively to the UK and have many friends there. Most live modestly and buy used cars since it is so costly to drive there. (in the US we are catching up). Those few ,especially around London, have seen tremondous cost increases as a result of inflation and bad investments in real estate. The Brits put education on top priority so they will not cut their kids future. (unlike the US)

Roccman said...

Bring on the pain!!!

And Oklahoma has had enough of all this BS...

OKLAHOMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Fifty-First Legislature
Second Regular Session


HOUSE JOINT RES 1089Claiming sovereignty under Tenth Amendment to the United
Key States Constitution

THIRD READING PASSED

YEAS: 92 RCS# 1983
NAYS: 3 3/13/2008
EXC : 6 7:48 PM
C/P : 0

Joe said...

This just illustrates what the illusion of wealth really means. They only thought they were top-hatters. Reality bites.

Joe M.

Reality said...

People are competitive and vain animals . . . just like any other species of animals that rely sexual instead of asexual reproduction. There has to be a way to convey to potential mates that you are a good catch, be it pretty feather, big mane, muscle mass, healthy subdermal adipose tissue (read: prominent butts and boobs), or wealth (nest and provisions).

People used loans instead of honesst labor to gain access to wealth because our screwed up tax system taxes honest labor but tax-exempt proceeds from loans proceeds. Not only that, but interest payment is even tax-exempt . . . so is substantial capital gain from housing. The result was quite inevitably a pyramid scheme and a bubble built on loan proceeds, the home ATM machine.

micahel said...

"And it's hard to tell the difference between a glass ring and a diamond one from 5 feet away."

hell i can't tell from five inches.

michael said...

"The Brits put education on top priority so they will not cut their kids future. (unlike the US)"

i love how you assume keith is using a broad brush to describe all british as debt laiden aston martin drivers (which he wasn't), and then you actually make a huge generalization about americans.

Jack Walsh said...

the UK is just giving us a glimpse into America's future.
the US has way more "debtionaires" than the UK, but its just that the Fed-Copter has been raining dolla dolla bills to keep the party going.

once the money stops falling out of the sky then we'll see who's really wealthy and who's pawning their Hummers and DeBeers.

Nature remembers said...

The future is bright; the end of evil and rotten Europe has begun and is in motion..
Over 2000 years of darkness on mankind brought on by Europeans is now having a natural boomerang effect..

Weeeeeeee haaaaaa. Finally!!!

Paul E. Math said...

That's an interesting link between the sacrifice of one status symbol for another. This just shows that the status symbol of 'education' has higher priority to Brits than does the Rolex.

The Brits love their class system and the brand of school their kids go to is much more valuable, not just to their kids but to the Brits themselves, than the brand of their watches or their cars.

Yes, this same disease infects the US but here when people ask what school you went to they are judging you on your college, not your grade-school.

Correct, this classism makes me sick.

wings said...

Housing Panic at the Disco: the Gilded Times!

Part I · Boom

The black-tie party at Washington's swank Mayflower Hotel seemed a fitting celebration of the biggest American housing boom since the 1950s: filet mignon and lobster, a champagne room and hundreds of mortgage brokers, real estate agents and their customers gyrating to a mega orchestra.

And they gyrated as housing began to crumble.

And the band played on.

They gyrated and laughed and danced in joy and merriment, wine and champagne overflowing and actually spilling out of the glass on to the fine ancient Chinese silk carpets, as they danced in wild and smiling circles like whirling dervishes.

They ate more fine Arctic lobster tail hors' d'oeuvres and gorged themselves like decadent kings and queens: for had worked hard to scam the masses and they deserved it!

And laughter and joy and music and clanking dishes and black ties and opulence, and flirting, and touching and love and a hint brief nudity and whimsicality filled the air: a glimpse of a woman's pink panties as she whirled around in laughter, an open collar revealing the toned, fit and hirsute chest of a gas station attendant turned mortgage broker.

Most armed with only a high school education or GED, they chuckled and cooed like elegant, ultra rich elite.

And they danced, and the music played as the market began to accelerate its decline, just outside their window.

But the wine was good and talk flowed like caviar. And women flirted with men, and men groped them in luxury as they frolicked and capered around in comfort, wealth and luxury.

And diamonds and great jewels were presented to everyone and they congratulated themselves on what financial geniuses they were.

And the belly dancers were brought out and the most expensive Cuban cigars were lit and smoked.

A 500 piece New York City Orchestra played Rachmaninov's Concerto #2 in B Flat C Minor Fugue, as tummies became satiated and belts loosed to accommodate the Roman-style banquet of bon appetitos.

And the lobster and Kobe beef were hoisted out on gold platters by hale and hearty young waiters dressed in Togas, and the realtors and brokers gasped in delight and clapped in surprise as the music whipped them into a frenzy!

An orgy of fine liquor flowed in penultimate emulation of the cascading excess of housing cash brought about by systemic greed. Flushed with money they gorged themselves: blushing red, with rosy cheeks and perpetual orgasmic smiles of self-satisfaction, amusement and decadence.

And the women whirled, dancing, as the strings played furiously. Some women were seen to be quite revealing underneath their dresses, but their inhibitions melted like the ice in their $150 drinks.

Ahh! The good life! Ha, ha!

So, this is what it's like to have every whim, every wish and self-indulgence please met with the snap of the fingers!

Fine fragrance of fresh green apples and eau de cologne tantalized the olfactory senses of all! They smiled and giggled like seventy-seven young virgins in paradise!

My, oh, my! What a deserving lot of realtors and mortgage brokers who worked so tirelessly all their lives, like Harvard-trained surgeons or the best and brightest of any field or profession!

On that winter night in 2005, the company hosting the opulent gala honored itself with an ice sculpture of its logo and twenty full body salads by bodacious and voluptuously naked models from Paris.

Enigmatic Financial had grown from a single office to a national behemoth generating $666 billion in mortgages that year.

The $100,000,000-plus party celebrated the booming division that made loans largely to Hispanic immigrants with little savings. The company even booked rooms in nearby mansions, complete with maid service and French, crepe-making Short-order Pastry Chefs for those who imbibed too much the night before.

Indeed, Enigmatic's party would soon end, along with the nation's housing euphoria.

The company has all but disappeared, along with dozens of other mortgage firms, tens of thousands of jobs on Wall Street and the dreams of about 1 million proud new homeowners who lost their houses.

The aftershocks of the housing market's collapse still rumble through the economy, with unemployment rising, companies struggling to obtain financing and the stock market more than 10 percent below its peak last fall.

All of the aforementioned party- going, rich, elite wannabe decadent dolts went back to their former jobs as waiters, shoe-shine boys, pizza delivery drivers, hookers, night club dancers, and department store salesmen dummies.

Anonymous said...

well la.de.da shoulda gpt me an equal opportunity screw job.................slut

Anonymous said...

so does this mean the rich and wealthy will now stop looking down on the poor and oppressed. NOT even if we almost have the same problems. NOT It just means that they have more expensive things to pawn but the gap between the haves and have nots is still just as wide and deep as the pond between the USA and the UK. Ouch, on pawning that wedding ring, guess it really didn't mean that much after all.

bickerer said...

Housing Panic at the Disco!!!

LMFAO

keyser soze said...

Thanks for your story 'Wings'...Rachmaninov's PC #2 is my favorite piece of music...ever. My favorite is Entremont w/ Leo & the NY Phil.

keyser soze said...

Nobody knows the pulse of the economy like a pawnbroker/payday lender.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

I wonder how many send their kids to private school because they really care about their kids and how many do it for status bragging rights.

I'd put my money on the latter.

Anonymous said...

Frank: That's the first point u have made I totally agree with

Anonymous said...

Paul E. Math said...

That's an interesting link between the sacrifice of one status symbol for another. This just shows that the status symbol of 'education' has higher priority to Brits than does the Rolex.

The Brits love their class system and the brand of school their kids go to is much more valuable, not just to their kids but to the Brits themselves, than the brand of their watches or their cars.

Yes, this same disease infects the US but here when people ask what school you went to they are judging you on your college, not your grade-school.

-----------------

I am thinking that it is obscene to buy yourselves a house 4X income, furnish it with Ethan Allen, spend 100 grand extra for granite, stainless and hickory, drive gas guzzling SUV's or Beemers and then expect the government to educate your children for free in public school. If a child doesn't get a good education in grade school, it won't matter later what college they go to because the basics just aren't there.

The education of your children isn't a status symbol. The true upper crust laughs at your children in public school. It doesn't matter which gated community you have managed to borrow your way into, if you have your kids in public school you are a joke and a phony.

If you can't afford private school for your kids perhaps you shouldn't buy the house, the cars, the vacations. What we have are children being raised by parents who are also children that never learned self-control or sacrifice of any kind.

More power to the Brits.

Paul E. Math said...

Anon 9:42 said "The education of your children isn't a status symbol."

I wish that were true.

A real education isn't something that you can buy. You can't just pay money to a school and your child will come back smart and educated.

But we live in a society where, because people graduate without a real education, they are incapable of objectively appraising their acquaintances based on verifiable intelligence, wisdom, talent and judgement.

Instead, people ask you what school you went to. This, you can pay for. It's not about education, it's about class.

An intelligent parent encourages their child to read, stimulates an intellectual curiousity and participates in the education of their child. There is no amount of pawned rolexes that can pay for the replacement of intelligent, nurturing, caring parents.

The drawback, however, to a real education is that noone at the country club will know what you're talking about and they will blame your lack of class rather than their lack of real education.

Anonymous said...

Paul E. Math said...

Anon 9:42 said "The education of your children isn't a status symbol." ........

.....The drawback, however, to a real education is that noone at the country club will know what you're talking about and they will blame your lack of class rather than their lack of real education.

This is the drawback to a real education? That the country club crowd won't recognize it? Damn.

What if your children don't go to the country club? What if they decide to pursue a "real" life with a real education. Perhaps they are working in a particle lab, or digging up ruins in Peru, or discovering the cure to a disease, or inventing a viable alternative to fossil fuels, instead of golfing every weekend with the cronies at the club, seeking that never ending "status fix".

This isn't the point to my post anyway. The point to be made was how selfish our priorities are. Millions of immigrants that came to our country went without so that their children would have a better life.

Wonder if they were worrying how the country club would never accept them.

barney said...

"I wonder how many send their kids to private school because they really care about their kids and how many do it for status bragging rights.

I'd put my money on the latter"

Bush backed off on NCLB after the charter schools and religous schools showed they were bad places to attend compared to the public school.

The private schools said: "were private" and got out of the testing.

All I can say is: read, read, read.... think, think, think... write, write, write,... repeat...

xxxooo said...

What should be the title of this work?

"Depleted Money Tree"

danimal said...

My wife and I took in a 13yo foster girl 3 months ago. One of the stipulations was we continue to drive her to her current school (8th grade) to finish out the year.

In stark contrast to parents putting education over vanity in the UK, I can't tell you the number of 7-series, SL600's, Jags, Escalades, etc. that I saw in queue every morning to drop off kids at what is arguably the worst public middle school in Southern California!

Every morning dropping her off I just had to shake my head.

Mike Hunt said...

Using sweet sweet leverage to juice the equity that is wastefully locked up in luxury goods. Doing anything else would make you a big time looser.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

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I though Europeans were much too sophisticated to fall for this. You mean to tell me the Euros are materialistic? Why that's simply not possible. Only Americans are greedy and materialistic, or so HP tells me. In Euroland, everyone loves their fellow man and sits around singing cumbayah all day long. Right?

Anonymous said...

Yes, this same disease infects the US but here when people ask what school you went to they are judging you on your college, not your grade-school.

Correct, this classism makes me sick.

===============

Lemme guess. You went to the Central, Southwest State University of Nowheresville.

Anonymous said...

Todays Headline:

"Soccer Mom gives blowjobs to students in back of giant SUV for gas money"

Nice America

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice how all these corporations and the economy were fucked up by elite Harvard and Yale grads?

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to count how many people I have met over the years who have told me that the public school that their kids attended was "just like a private school." I have NEVER come across anybody who was privately educated who thinks that there are public schools that are comparable.

The comment by the person with the 8th-grade foster child rings true. People endlessly yap about how no sacrifice would be too big to make for their child, but if you could get a look at their checkbook, you would see the real story.

FWIW, my understanding of the British "public school" (Eton, Harrow, etc.) obsession is that the boarding school environment with top-notch teachers and curricula gives your child a cultured accent and vocabulary, increases his chances of getting into Oxford/Cambridge, and introduces him to hundreds of future "movers and shakers" in British society who can form a critical social network for him as he goes through life. This same social network will allow him to meet the sisters and female cousins and friends of his fellow students, increasing the chances that he will marry someone with lots of important social connections. If all the males in a family for several generations have attended Eton, parents are likely to feel a duty to send their own son(s), even if it is a big financial strain. ($250,000 for the five-year program.)

The British system isn't our system (although the Ivy League provides similar benefits) but you can't say that spending the money to send a child to a swanky school is purely for the bragging rights.

My child attended boarding school, and it offers a number of benefits, including reducing your child's access to a car at a time in his life when he may lack the maturity necessary to drive. Boarding schools also serve an important function for single parents who travel, those who hours other than 9 to 5, and those who know that they will have to make one or more geographic moves during their child's high school years.

Lots of people live in areas where the local school system is bad or going downhill. Private schools, even if they are not of the elite variety, often provide a small school environment for kids who would get into a lot of trouble if they attended a huge, anonymous public junior high or high school.

Max said...

Brits - pawning Aston Martins to send the kids to good schools.

Americans - raiding the kids' college funds to go to Vegas.