On the morning of January 12, Matty Moroun, an 84-year-old billionaire, walked into the Wayne County courthouse in downtown Detroit for a hearing on sanctions for civil contempt. He was an hour late. The courtroom was full.
A shortage of used cars - combined with higher demand from buyers who have lost a job, wrecked their credit scores or just become more frugal - has narrowed the gap between new- and used-car prices. Since 2007, the average trade-in value of a 6-year-old car has escalated much more rapidly in percentage terms - and almost as much in dollar terms - compared with a new car.