FRANCE: Pride in Pawn

The staggering scandal which burst at Bayonne last week, appropriately followed by a minor earthquake, could only be appreciated from the point of view of Frenchmen who are justly proud of their pawnshops.

The original Paris Crédit Municipal was founded by King Louis XVI, as a noble experiment to see whether the rapacity of private lenders could be checked by the State. It could. Under the august patronage of Napoleon I and his successors, pawnbroking in France has made steady, philanthropic strides. No Crédit Municipal can be founded without the assent of...

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