Finance: Please, No Helicopters

Please, No Helicopters

Not everyone in the Texas oil patch is hurting. Along with bankruptcy lawyers and auctioneers, pawnbrokers are profiting from the troubles of the region's economy.

In suburban Houston's affluent Memorial area, Pawnbroker Jean Davis last month installed a drive-in window so that once rich oil barons would not have to embarrass themselves by going through the shop's front door. Davis recently began dispatching a black limousine to bring in clients. At Shaw's Jewelry and Loan on the eastern edge of Houston's tony River Oaks section, pawnbroker loans are running nearly 20% above last year's pace. The new clients are bringing in...

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