May 30, 2017

Markets / Economy

FT – US banks pull back from $1.2tn car loans market – Ben McLannahan 5/29

  • “Lenders piled into the sector in the years after the financial crisis, as low defaults and an improving economy encouraged them to focus on a market that performed relatively well as mortgages soured. Total loans across the industry rose to $1.17tn at the end of the first quarter, according to the New York Federal Reserve, up almost 70% from a trough in 2010.”
  • “But data released last week by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation showed the first sequential drop in car loans outstanding at commercials banks in at least six years.”


Science – Goodbye smokestacks: Startup invents zero-emission fossil fuel power – Robert Service 5/24


NYT – In China, Umbrellas and Basketballs Join the Sharing Economy – Amy Qin 5/28

  • “Behind China’s sharing boom is a surplus of money and – some critics say – a shortage of good ideas. Venture capital firms in China invested $31 billion in 2016, up nearly one-fifth from the previous year, according to a recent KPMG report. Much of that has gone to sharing companies, as some big-money winners and a thriving start-up scene draw investors from home and abroad.”

FT – Sharing economy takes mercantile twist in China – Louise Lucas 5/28

  • “The sharing economy is taking off in China, where you can rent anything from basketballs to apartments, umbrellas to songs.”
  • “But it has taken a mercantile twist in the officially Communist country, with venture capital rather than citizens taking the spoils.”
  • “The big prize for these companies is not a slice of transaction revenues but data. Goods rented out many times provide troves of statistics on usage habits. Data can also be used for credit scoring systems: fail repeatedly to return an umbrella, and your credit score will go down.”

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