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十年来首次发声 "大空头"原型Steve Eisman都说了什么?

Steve Eisman是电影“大空头”中Mark Baum(Steve Carell扮演)一角的灵感来源,影片上映使他一夜成名。10年前尚无人关注之时,他就依靠做大空头赚得亿万美元。即使他本人并不高调,但这位金融大亨的每一次现身却都能引来广泛关注。上周日为参加这周举行的第22届ABS东部会议,他出现在了迈阿密海景酒店Fontainebleau。这次大会的与会者还包括几千名华尔街证券从业人员。巧合的是,电影“大空头”中的一幕——Mark Baum对着一个正发言的抵押贷经理大发雷霆——就在该酒店拍摄。

Eisman自07年后就再也没有参加过证券行业会议。但迈阿密的这场年度会议组织者IMN(Information Management Network)决定打破这一习惯,邀请他与会发表主旨演讲。

那对这个行业所受到的致命打击也“出了一份力”的Eisman说了些什么呢?

据Asset Securitization Report报道,Eisman分析了这次抵押贷款危机并评估了现在的经济状况和金融系统:套用他的话就是“为什么情况依然糟糕”。

在他看来,我们还是保住了底线,目前一场全面爆发的危机所必有的3个条件尚未满足:

(1)杠杆过高

(2)一个过大的资产类别

(3)许多银行持有上述这种资产

按此标准,次级汽车贷款和学生贷款都不会成为下一个抵押贷款危机。Eisman似乎更担心欧洲的情况,因为欧洲的银行比美国的杠杆率高许多,而且许多外围国家如意大利、西班牙和葡萄牙,并没有迅速强制他们的银行确认损失。

Eisman说,虽然现在整体情况也许没那么糟糕,但他并不信任市场借贷行业。“硅谷并不知道他们在干什么。”

他说:“如果你在亚马逊上买一本书,那这就是这段关系的终点。”然而如果你办理抵押贷款,“那这将是交易的起点。”贷款只存在两种商业模式。“第一种就是发放并持有贷款,这意味着你是一家银行。这种业务利润低。第二种就是发放并出售贷款,那买方是谁呢?就是你们(华尔街)。而你们变幻莫测。”

《彭博商业周刊》写道,Eisman认为核心问题是这些借贷创业企业,尤其是他们的发起人和投资人并没有许多发放贷款的经验,他们中有些人甚至以零售的方式来做贷款业务。

报道中指出,09年以来出现了160多家此类企业。发展最好的有LendingClub Corp,Prosper Marketplace Inc.和Social Finance Inc。据KPMG统计,这三家公司2015年总计促成融资达360多亿美元,大部分是消费者借贷,同比多出110亿美元。SoFi发言人拒绝就Eisman的讲话发表评论;LendingClub和Prosper的发言人没有回复我们邀其评论的信息。

周一上午的一场座谈会上,瑞士信贷集团董事Stephanie Yeh说道:“我们见过在担保的时候损失就比预期评估大的贷款。可供分析数据仍不够多。”

今年早些时候一些借款平台的贷款拖欠和违约率陡然上升,这让购买这些证券化资产的投资者感到心慌。他们要求平台提高利率,以保证他们所能得到的高回报率。这场座谈会现场进行了一次电子问卷调查,50%多的听众认为,投资者并没有足够的数据来评估无保证的消费者贷款证券化产品的风险。

当然,P2P的支持者给出了这项技术的许多益处,如审核时间更快、交易费用更低、以及借款人能够获得更多的贷款机会。这些借款人也许没有资格申请传统的几千美元的高利率消费者贷款。大银行、资金经理、对冲基金、保险公司、信托基金、律所还有信用评级机构都在争相抢夺在线借贷业务。但是这些借款方和他们所使用的工具没有经受过经济低迷时期的考验,阅历仍较少。这就引来了像Eisman这样怀疑论者的担忧,他说谁也不知道这些贷款长期如何进行下去。周日晚上,他说这个行业永远也不会达到其支持者们声称可以达到的规模。

参照近来前市场借贷巨头LendingClub遇到的麻烦,也许在经济低迷前这个行业就会面对其自身的次贷危机了。

 

One decade before he became famous for the being the inspiration behind Mark Baum's character, played by Steve Carell in the movie the "The Big Short", Steve Eisman was making hundreds of millions predicting the next big short, namely the collapse of the subprime mortgage industry. Which is why every appearance of the otherwise reclusive financial guru sees broad popular interest, and this past Sunday, when Eisman appeared at the beachfront Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, where several thousand Wall Street securitization professionals are convening this week for their 22nd annual ABS East Conference, was no different.

Incidentally, it’s the same gathering where, in one scene of the film "The Big Short," the character based on Eisman bursts into outrage at a mortgage executive giving a talk.

Eisman hadn’t attended a securitization conference since 2007. But Information Management Network, the organizer of an annual confab in Miami, decided to changed that when it invited him to give the keynote speech Sunday.

So what did did Eisman have to say to the industry that he helped bring down? “You fuckers blew up planet earth. Shut up and move on.” adding that “it feels like Daniel in the lion’s den."

Cited by the Asset Securitization Report, he then apologized in advance for offending his audience, and launched into an explanation of the mortgage crisis and an assessment of the current state of the economy and financial system, or “why things still suck.”

The bottom line, in his view, we don’t have the three prerequisites for a full-blow crisis:

(1) too much leverage

(2) a big asset class that blows up

(3) a lot of banks holding this asset class

By that measure, neither subprime auto loans nor student loans are going to be the next mortgage crisis. Eisman seems more concerned about Europe, where banks are still much more highly leveraged than in the U.S., and where regulators in peripheral countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal have been slow to force them to recognize losses.

But while the big picture may not be so bad right now, Eisman said he is not a big believer in marketplace lending. “Silicon Valley is clueless,” he says.

“If you buy a book on Amazon, that’s the end of the relationship.” Whereas, if you make a mortgage, “that’s the beginning of the transaction.” And there are only two business models. “The first is to originate the loan and hold it, which means you’re a bank. That’s a low margin business. The second is to originate a loan and sell it, and who are they going to sell it to? You [Wall Street]. And you are fickle.”

As Bloomberg adds, Eisman said that the central problem is that lending startups, their founders and backers in particular, don’t have a lot of experience making loans to consumers, and some of them approach loan-making as they would retail sales, Eisman said.

As Bloomberg notes, more than 160 startup firms of this kind have emerged since 2009. The biggest include LendingClub Corp., Prosper Marketplace Inc. and Social Finance Inc. Together these companies arranged more than $36 billion of financing in 2015, mainly for consumers, up from $11 billion the year before, according to a report from KPMG. A spokeswoman for SoFi declined to comment about Eisman’s remarks; representatives for LendingClub and Prosper didn’t return messages seeking comment.

“We have seen loans underperform from their expected loss estimate at the time of underwriting,” Stephanie Yeh, a director at Credit Suisse Group AG, said on a Monday morning panel discussion. “There still isn’t a lot of data.”

Earlier this year, a spike in delinquencies and defaults from some lenders rippled through the community of investors who buy these securitizations. Investors demanded that lenders raise their rates to protect the high returns that they’ve come to expect from the debt. In an audience poll on the same panel, more than 50 percent of the crowd said in a live electronic survey that there is not sufficient data for investors to assess risk tied to unsecured consumer loan securitizations.

To be sure, proponents of peer 2 peer lending cite the benefits of this technology, which include faster approval times, cheaper transaction costs, and more availability of credit to borrowers who may otherwise not qualify for traditional consumer loans, typically of several thousand dollars and with higher interest rates. Big banks, money managers, hedge funds, insurers, trustees, law firms and credit ratings firms are all competing for the online lenders’ business. But these lenders and their wares are new, and they haven’t been tested in an economic downturn yet. This has drawn concern from skeptics like Eisman, who say there’s no telling how the loans will perform long-term. He said Sunday night the business will never scale to the proportions that its proponents claim.

That said, if the recent woes of former lending giant LendingClub are any indication, one won't even need to wait for a downturn before the industry faces its own subprime moment.


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