Hacks riding out the recession by cashing in on taxi-badge bull market

Posted: 12:42 AM, January 24, 2010

One of the city's best investments is right under New Yorkers' noses.

Actually, it's on the hood of their taxis.

Yellow-cab medallions -- those small, plastic emblems attached to the hood of every taxi, allowing the cabs to pick up passengers on the streets -- have risen in value an average of 15 percent annually for the past 70 years, with just a few down years.

Long an immigrant's ticket to middle-class living, the medallions -- the corporate version of which are now priced at $775,000 apiece -- are coming in handy these days as the economy slumps, bringing real-estate values down and turning off easy bank credit. Where home-equity and personal loans may be unavailable, medallion loans are still popular -- and have even seen a spike recently, lenders said.


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