Morning Report: Lending Club is tarnishing the rest of the fintech industry 5/23/16

Markets are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat as well

Not a lot of data this week – the biggest number will be the second revision to first quarter GDP later this week. The Street is forecasting GDP rose 0.9%. We will also get pending home sales and new home sales.

Pain in the junk bond market is spreading to the non-commodity space as retailers are beginning to take it on the chin.  This is one issue that could certainly cause the Fed to maintain low interest rates. Pain here is generally considered bond bullish as well, which means it is a catalyst for lower mortgage rates.

Mohammed El–Erian says that the markets are still not fully pricing in two more hikes this year. He believes the Fed has a small window in which to pursue normalization and they intend to take advantage of it.

Lending Club’s woes are putting a wet blanket on the rest of the fintech industry. The industry is going from playing offense in Washington to playing defense. The regulators are hungry to bring this industry to heel.

25 Responses

  1. Worth a note:

    “Bank settlements include ‘donations’ to ‘community development’ organizations”


    • which get recycled right back into campaign donations. Nobody campaigns on someone else’s money the way the left does…


  2. Trump’s managing to drive his narrative into the MSM.

    “So far, this issue has mostly been raised by conservative media and Republican politicians like Prudhomme-O’Brien. But it’s a substantive matter worthy of coverage from non-right-wing outlets as well. There really are multiple accusations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton, accusations that have too often been conflated with his much better-established and much less morally concerning history of adultery. Are the women making these accusations survivors who deserve to be believed, to borrow Hillary Clinton’s language? Or, as she later insisted, have their accusations all been found to be baseless?”


    • The MSM and the left have kind of painted themselves in a corner with this stuff..


    • Yeah. I don’t think the Democrats or the progressive left, generally, and despite their low opinion of the hoi-poloi, can quite comprehend what happens when a guy like Trump is turning on the full P.T. Barnum. They are used to the MSM not just being in their pocket, for the most part, but also working consistently for them. Yet even they can’t resist the temptation of covering Trump in a way that lets him speak directly to the American people, many of whom want to believe there is a magic pill to relieve all their ills and soothe all their fears.

      They remain convinced, generally, that Trump = the end of the Republican party, the death of conservatism because he now mouths conservative platitudes and has genuflected to the NRA. I don’t think so. I think, much like Steve Jobs, he carries his own portable reality distortion field, and progressives and Democrats underestimate that at their peril.

      … That being said, if Trump wins all sorts of politicians think they see the new recipe for getting elected, without understanding that it takes a Trump to pull it off. And they aren’t Trump.


  3. The Brownsville USDCt that ruled BHO’s immigration waiver violated the APA has now undertaken to [correctly] chastise the DOJ for its handling of the case. This is some Opinion:

    Click to access texas_order_20160519.pdf


    • So they basically just lied to the judge and got caught.


      • jnc:

        So they basically just lied to the judge and got caught.

        Yes. But what will the consequences be? Most likely nothing, which is probably why they were emboldened to do it in the first place.


        • Scott, the judge slapped them as hard as he could, and noted that none of the DOJ lawyers were from the USA’s office in the SD TX, and said none of those lawyers had ever acted unprofessionally in his court. So he revoked the pro hac vice status of all of the out of state out of district lawyers, in any of the 26 plaintiff states. He Ordered all of them to continuing professional ethics course and Ordered compliance from the AG. He noted that this did not happen under her watch and since she herself had recently been a USA he hoped she could get control of her minions. There is much more, but he did not strip the USA of its pleadings, the toughest typical remedy in this situation, because the case is pending in the Supremes and he did not want to be seen as interfering with the Supremes’ docket.

          I am actually amazed at the level of deception these 2 guys in particular attempted. I think the individual lawyers who made the recurring violations are done as government litigators.

          The worst I ever saw from an AG was when Nixon’s AG [not through the USA WD TX but through a “troubleshooter” from DC] tried to argue that public housing in Austin should all be built in one place, two weeks after he had argued in a busing case that the reason Austin needed busing was because of segregated housing. Our USDCt called him on that repeatedly in open court until the guy just shut up.


        • Mark:

          Scott, the judge slapped them as hard as he could

          Is disbarment not in the cards for lawyers who lie in court?


        • Suspension and disbarment are both possibilities for these guys but unlike in state court where the judges have direct ability to refer for disbarment it is my understanding that a federal judge can only keep lawyers out of the courtroom. Or that is how it used to be. There isn’t a federal law license, only state licensing.

          The local bar associations for these guys may take it up. Clinton got suspended for lying on a deposition as the supervising federal judge in that case was a member of the AK Bar and so was Clinton and she “referred” the matter.


        • mark:

          There isn’t a federal law license, only state licensing.

          Ah. I hadn’t thought of that.


        • To be clear, separate from Bar membership, one has to be admitted to federal practice, court-by-court. I was admitted to practice in the WD and SD of Texas, the 5th Circuit, and the Supremes. I appeared pro hac vice in the SD of CA and the ND of TX, and for ten minutes in the Key West Division of the USDC for the SD of FL. The judge there wanted to go fishing and cut everything short.

          So this Judge has pretty much ended pro hac vice appearance for these two [probably actually the whole team] in any fed court in 26 states as well as a few circuits. Another District Court might act differently, but I would certainly not bet on it.


        • Mark:

          I was admitted to practice in the WD and SD of Texas, the 5th Circuit, and the Supremes.

          Did you ever argue in front of the Supremes? I’ve always wanted to go to watch a case be argued.


        • No. Twice I had cert granted out of the 5th only to have the case bundled with other bigger cases raising the same points and so the lead counsel were always out of the big DC firms that people like Roberts came from.
          I got my name on an accepted brief in one of them. Closest I ever got.

          The 5th C. was august and scary enough. The panels came loaded for bear and did not miss a trick. I had a pretty good win record, but lost one that was written up nationally and it still pisses me off.


        • Mark:

          I had a pretty good win record, but lost one that was written up nationally and it still pisses me off.

          Would love to see the write ups of both wins and loss, if they are out there on the internets.


      • Yep, JNC, repeatedly.


      • but all they have to do is take a 3 hour ethics class? that’ll show ’em..


        • Stripping an in house DOJ lawyer of pro hac vice privileges in most of the country is actually crippling to his career at Justice. Those guys are gone.


  4. This should be interesting:

    “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe under federal investigation for campaign contributions

    By Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown, CNN

    Updated 4:36 PM ET, Mon May 23, 2016
    Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, through his U.S. businesses. Wang was previously delegate to China’s National People’s Congress, the country’s ceremonial legislature.
    “Neither the Governor nor his former campaign has knowledge of this matter, but as reported, contributions to the campaign from Mr. Wang were completely lawful,” said Elias.

    Wang also has been a donor to the Clinton foundation, pledging $2 million. He also has been a prolific donor to other causes, including to New York University, Harvard and environmental issues in Florida.
    U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to federal, state or local elections. Penalties for violations include fines and/or imprisonment.
    But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status, according to a spokeswoman, which would make him a U.S. person under election law and eligible to donate to McAuliffe’s campaign.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Guess what? As Krugman notes the NYT is making the same racist/authoritarian connection between Sanders & Trump supporters:

    Liked by 1 person

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