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27 December 2006

Deborama's WWW Number 5 - Unfairpak

American readers of the blog will probably not be familiar with the Christmas hamper concept, unless they are even older than me and reside in the Northeast, perhaps. But the Christmas hamper has been the main vehicle of Christmas cheer for working class families in Great Britain since the early 20th century, and Farepak was one company leader in this field, a company which combined elements of direct sales, network marketing and modern finance with the old fashioned idea of "buying Christmas" a year ahead of time and paying for it in small zero-interest payments throughout the year. A charming picture until it all went horribly wrong in September of this year. This website, a real grass-roots effort by victims of the fund's collapse, tells the intricate but nauseatingly familiar story of big banks balancing their books on the backs of small consumers and workers.

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