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Saturday, January 10, 2009

What "easy terms" used to mean!

I'm looking at an advertisement from the 1920's, for a real estate development in Colorado called "Lincoln Hills". Now, remember this is from the 1920's -- and we learned in school that excessive borrowing and speculation was rampant in the 1920's, leading to the crash and the Great Depression.

The lots are priced at $50 to $100. There are easy terms for the $50 lots: $5 down and $5 per month. The larger lots are $10 down and 10% per month. In other words, you pay off the lot in a year, and then own an asset that would be expected to appreciate. This is what "easy terms" used to mean.

Now you see ads for furniture (a rapidly depreciating asset) that promise you "no payments for the first year".

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