We first noted Wall Street’s misguided plan to feed its securitization machine with peer-to-peer (P2P) loans back in May 2015 (see “What Bubble? Wall Street To Turn P2P Loans Into CDOs“). Obviously we warned then that the voracious demand for P2P loans was a direct product of central bank policies that had sent investors searching far and wide for yield leaving them so desperate they were willing to gamble on the payment streams generated by loans made on peer-to-peer platforms.
In addition to the pure lunacy of using unsecured, low/no-doc, micro-loans as collateral for a CDO, we pointed out that the very nature of P2P loans meant that borrower creditworthiness likely deteriorated as soon as loans were issued. The credit deterioration stemmed from the fact that many borrowers were simply using P2P loan proceeds to repay higher-interest credit card debt. That said, after paying off that credit card, many people simply proceeded to max it out again leaving them with twice the original amount of debt.
And, sure enough, it only took about a year before the first signs started to emerge that the P2P lending bubble was bursting. The first such sign came in May 2016 when Lending Club’s stock collapsed 25% in a single day after reporting that their write-off rates were trending at 7%-8% or roughly double the forecasted rate (we wrote about it here “P2P Bubble Bursts? LendingClub Stock Plummets 25% After CEO Resigns On Internal Loan Review“).
Now, signs are starting to emerge that Lending Club isn’t the only P2P lender with deteriorating credit metrics. As Bloomberg points out, less than year after wall street launched the P2P CDO, one of the first such securities backed by loans from LoanDepot has already experienced such high default and delinquency rates that cash flow triggers have been tripped cutting off cash flow to the lowest-rating tranches.
The $140mm private security, called MPLT 2014-LD1, was issued by Jefferies in November 2015 and, less than 1 year after it’s issuance, cumulative losses rose to 4.97% in September, breaching the 4.9% “trigger” for the structure. And sure enough, the deal was sold to a group of investors that included life insurance company, Catholic Order of Foresters.
But, as Bloomberg noted, the LoanDepot deal wasn’t the only one to breach covenants in less than a year. Two other Jefferies securitizations backed by loans made by the online startups CircleBack Lending and OnDeck Capital have also breached triggers.
For some reason the following clip from the “Big Short” comes to mind…“short everything that guy has touched.”