The financial crisis is squeezing its way up the economic ladder. With credit nowhere to be found, LA's high-end pawn shops are "the bank of only resort" for bigwigs who need quick cash for mortgages, plastic surgery, and even movies (that's to make one, not see one). At one Beverly Hills shop—which has a necklace selling for $2.7 million—business has tripled in the last 6 months, Bloomberg reports.
Other items traded in for loans: cars, including Ferraris and Porsches, Picassos, and Oscar statuettes. Owners say there's one downside to the boom: More customers are failing to redeem their items. But at least famous clients don't have to worry about their secret getting out. "We're like bartenders," one owner says. "People spill their guts to us even if it's embarrassing to them. They know we won't talk.''