If you’ve been scratching your head over the twisted intestine of our economy, wondering how all those financial frycooks fed the world a crap salad, now’s your chance to get some firsthand experience. Person-to-person lending service Prosper recently got SEC approval to allow its lenders to offer their loans to secondary investors. What that means: you could kick a thousand bucks to the chick who wants a new motorcycle (pictured at right) then sell her IOU to someone else for a profit. Is said chick a sound investment? The following is an excerpt from her Prosper loan application: “This loan will be used to buy a motorcycle! I’ve been a ‘biker babe’ for the last five years while riding with my husband but I’ve always wanted to ride on my own. I think a women rider is super HOT!!! It’s time for me to feel the adrenaline rush!” Hmm…someone who likes to ride fast on a motorcycle. Perhaps not a great long-term risk. But, hey, we’re sure a lot of banks made worse loans and they had no problem flogging them on the secondary market. So what are you waiting for? Feel the rush!
Five cash sources, other than your bank. If you’re on the other side of the counter and you need money, consider these five alternative sources of capital, as suggested by the Wall Street Journal.
Food truck war heats up. In the warehouse where we worked after college, we used to call it the “roach coach.” Not for the obvious reason (t always seemed clean enough) but because when it showed up at the loading dock it played a car-horn version of “La Cucaracha.” Then we’d jump down and get five packages of cheese-and-peanut-butter crackers. Those were the days. Now there are thousands of upscale food trucks plying the cities of America, serving sushi, schnitzel, Korean barbecue and all sorts of other cuisine. The old guard doesn’t like the new competition and the standoff has reached violent proportions in Manhattan, where gyro hawkers, pretzel pushers, et al are incensed at the gourmet vendors for stealing “their” customers and curbspace. Whose side are you on? If the Midtown Lunch blog is any indication, most favor the flavor of the epicurean rigs. A recent post about hotdog vendors ganging up to block access to the Street Sweets van provoked a number of comments along these lines: “If I owned that truck, those idiot vendors would be a bloody mess on the ground b/c I’d be whacking them with my baton. Don’t take that s**t, Sweets Truck. Beat those mofos in the face.” Yikes. We’ll see you at McDonald’s.