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当金融遇上互联网 The sharing economy is a playground for Wall Street

本文摘要:When the concept of “peer-to-peer” lending popped up a decade ago, libertarians and leftwing idealists alike cheered. For the idea of using the internet to match borrowers who needed cash with lenders seemed to epitomise the sharing economy.10年前“个人对个人”(peer-to-peer,全称P2P)贷款忽然蓬勃发展时,自由主义者和左翼理想主义者都为之掌声。

When the concept of “peer-to-peer” lending popped up a decade ago, libertarians and leftwing idealists alike cheered. For the idea of using the internet to match borrowers who needed cash with lenders seemed to epitomise the sharing economy.10年前“个人对个人”(peer-to-peer,全称P2P)贷款忽然蓬勃发展时,自由主义者和左翼理想主义者都为之掌声。这是因为,利用互联网为必须资金的借款者与贷款者牵线搭桥或许具有“共享型经济”的特征。

What made P2P sound doubly exciting — at least in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis — was that these platforms also appeared to thumb a nose at the banks. Or, to use the technical term, P2P threatened to “disintermediate” mainstream finance, in a democratic way.令P2P听得一起更为激动人心的是——最少在2008年经济危机之后的一段时期里——这些平台或许也对银行嗤之以鼻。或者,用专业术语来说,P2P以民主的方式威胁着将主流金融“去中介化”。But that utopian ideal is starting to be turned upside down. True, if you look at the profile of who is providing loans on America’s biggest P2P platforms today, such as Lending Club and Prosper Marketplace, you will still see wealthy “mom and pop” investors, attracted by the hope of good returns in a low interest rate world. Since 2009 loans on the big P2P platforms have generated yields of between 5 and 9 per cent.但是现在,这种不切实际的点子将要被政治宣传。到底,如果想到美国各大P2P平台上——如Lending Club和Prosper Marketplace——贷款方的讲解,你还是不会看见富裕的“夫妻店”投资者——在当今的低利率时代,对低回报率的期望把他们更有到互联网平台上。

自2009年以来,大型P2P平台贷款产生的收益率在5%至9%之间。But those plucky individuals are in a minority — and a shrinking one. These days, four-fifths of the finance on P2P platforms [all of them? says just Lending Club in source i can find our story dated December 14.2014]comes from institutions, such as hedge funds, or arms of the established banks.但是,大胆的个人投资者却是是少数——而且越来越少。如今,P2P平台上五分之四的资金来自机构,如对冲基金,或者老牌银行的分支。Indeed, hedge funds and banks are now moving into this sector with such a vengeance that they are not only repackaging those P2P loans into new instruments, via securitisation; they are lending via these platforms too.的确,对冲基金和银行正在大张旗鼓地转入P2P领域——不仅通过证券化把P2P贷款新的纸盒为新的金融工具,还通过这些平台专门从事贷款业务。



Earlier this year, for example, Citigroup agreed a $150m tie-up with Lending Club, to finance loans. Citizens Bank has bought $200m of loans from SoFi, a big student loan-focused marketplace lender, and committed to buy $300m more. Instead of thumbing their nose at banks, in other words, P2P lenders are co-opting them, if not being co-opted too. In financial terms, this is like Uber quietly cutting deals with established taxi companies.例如,今年早些时候,花旗集团(Citigroup)与Lending Club签订一项价值1.5亿美元的贷款融资合作协议。美国国民银行(Citizens Bank)从专心学生贷款市场的大型网贷平台SoFi出售了2亿美元贷款,并允诺再行出售3亿美元。换句话说,P2P贷款平台非但没对银行嗤之以鼻,反而要么游说银行、要么被银行游说。这就只不过Uber与出租车公司悄悄达成协议。

Does this matter? The answer to that question depends on what you think the main priority for modern finance should be. If you think that the system needs to provide more credit to the economy, in order to to boost growth, this quiet transformation should seem welcome.这有关系吗?答案各不相同你对现代金融的首要任务怎么看。如果你指出金融体系必须为经济获取更加多信贷以性刺激快速增长的话,这种悄悄改变或许应当受到青睐。

After all, the arrival of banks and hedge funds will enable the sector to expand more rapidly. And borrower demand seems sky high; PwC predicts that P2P lending will swell to $150bn by 2025, from $5.5bn in 2014.却是,银行和对冲基金转入不利于该行业更加慢扩展。而且借款人的市场需求或许十分充沛;普华永道(PwC)预计,到2025年,P2P网贷规模将由2014年的55亿美元暴减至1500亿美元。But if you think that the main goal of finance should be to create safe, clear rules for capital flows, then this pattern might also make you weep. If you ask bankers why they are moving into P2P lending, some will point to the high returns they hope to earn (since the average loan commands an interest rate of around 13 per cent, margins are high). Others will cite the need for banks to copy clever technology ideas and become more entrepreneurial.但是,如果你指出金融业的主要目标应当是为资金流动制订安全性、具体的规则,那么这种模式也许不会让你沮丧。


如果你问银行家为什么要转入P2P网贷行业,一些人会说道想取得高回报(因为平均值而言贷款的利率为13%左右,息差很高)。其他人不会称之为,银行必须自学聪慧的技术理念并极具创业精神。But there is another, grubbier motive: regulatory arbitrage. “We like P2P because we can do things there that we can’t do in our main bank,” as a senior New York banker recently (and sheepishly) explained at a conference.但是,还有另外一个更加愚蠢的动机:监管套利。“我们讨厌P2P,因为我们在那里可以做到一些我们在银行不了做到的事,”纽约一名银行高管最近在一次会议上(带上点说什么地)说明称之为。

Sharp-eyed readers might feel a sense of déjà vu. The idea of using innovations to dance around tough capital rules is hardly new: in the early years of the past decade, banks used structured investment vehicles and collateralised debt obligations in the same way.眼尖的读者也许不会有一种似曾相识的感觉。利用创意在严苛的资本规则下打擦边球的点子并不新鲜:在过去十年的头几年,银行以完全相同方式利用结构化投资工具和债务抵押债券(CDO)来回避监管。

They also took advantage of cracks in regulatory structures to create products that policymakers could not easily monitor or control (it was unclear, for instance, who was supposed to oversee mortgage derivatives).它们还利用监管结构中的漏洞,建构了政策制定者容易监管或掌控的产品(抵押贷款衍生品由谁监管在那时并不具体)。A sense of fragmentation is hampering policymakers again. And as Kara Stein, a commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, has observed: “We can’t afford a fragmented regulatory architecture.”一种集中的感觉再度后遗症政策制定者。正如美国证交会(SEC)委员卡拉斯坦(Kara Stein)所说的:“我们开销不起一个支离破碎的监管体系的后果。”It is unclear whether the regulators’ remit covers all the upstarts.现在尚能不确切监管部门的职责范围否覆盖面积所有新的平台。

Perhaps this does not matter. The P2P sector is a tiddler compared to the overall financial world (or the pile of mortgage derivatives which sowed havoc in 2008). And unlike the pension funds which were exposed to mortgage-backed securities in 2006, for example, the banks and hedge funds understand the dangers of credit losses. So even if P2P loans turn bad in the future, this should not pose wider risks.或许这并不最重要。与整个金融世界(或者引起2008年灾难的抵押贷款衍生品的规模)比起,P2P行业就像一条小鱼。比如,与在2006年不存在抵押贷款反对证券涉及子母的养老基金有所不同,银行和对冲基金告诉信贷损失的危险性。


因此,即使P2P贷款在未来变为坏账,也会包含更大范围的风险。Nevertheless, history suggests that whenever innovation and regulatory arbitrage are combined in an era of ultra cheap money, it often ends in tears — somewhere. If nothing else, that suggests that policymakers need to find ways to stop activity falling between the regulatory cracks; not least because financiers are endlessly creative at dancing in those gaps.尽管如此,历史指出,在资金极为廉价的时代,一旦创意和监管套利融合在一起,一般来说不会以眼泪收场——在某个地方。




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