It's a tough time to be a hooker, and I'm not just talking about Ken Lewis.
The Associated Press reports that "Like so many other businesses, Europe's largest legalized prostitution industry is having to adapt to the economic downturn. Customers are fewer or more frugal, competition has increased, and more clubs and brothels are offering discounts to drum up business."
The AP piece focuses on Berlin, where one lady of the night says the prostitutes are sticking with the standard $110 minimum for sex, which could possibly raise concerns about collusion and anti-competitive price-fixing.
In addition, brothels offering the ladies a fixed salary are inundated with applications as once-proud freelancers realize the glory of a possibly smaller but more dependable paycheck.
Bargain basement love shacks are also doing a brisk business -- benefiting from the same trade-down effect that has helped Aeropostale grow at the expense of Abercrombie & Fitch's tanking same-store sales figures.
But if you're out of work and upset that US laws make this profession inaccessible, take some comfort in this: One Berlin prostitute said she was planning to move to the East Coast of the United States where you can make just as much money as a stripper without exposing yourself to the risks associated with prostitution.
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