Finally, Bloomberg has an interesting piece on a Rodeo Drive pawn shop. Who knew there was such a thing? It’s racking up big business these days, as even the rich get hit by the downturn.

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.

South Beverly Jewelry and Loan, also in Beverly Hills, has seen business triple in the past six months, said owner Yossi Dina. Some of the collateral is in a parking lot: About 60 cars, including Ferraris, Porsches and a Bentley.
“We’re making loans today we never used to,” Dina, 54, said. “Millions — never used to have that. We’re selling a necklace now, the client wants $2.7 million.”

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.