Tag Archives: Consumer Finance

Lies and statistics

You may recognize the title to this post as part of a famous quote popularized by Mark Twain. There are two key words missing from the quote, but this is a family friendly blog, so…. Let’s establish up front that I’m a big fan of marketing. Especially today, where marketing is truly data-driven and often plays […]

Second verse, same as the first?

In 2007, I worked for a community bank with a long history of high performance. At the time, I was running the only national business line, the home improvement finance business. Competition was pretty fierce but our volumes were growing steadily. Most of the water cooler chatter in my circles was about loan sales to keep the […]

Who are your competitors?

Markets change. After long periods of stability, one or more entrepreneurial disrupters enters the market and puts its stamp on an industry. Some of the old guard will fade away, some will adapt, and the new guard will take control. Eventually, after some time passes, the new guard becomes the old guard and the market is […]

History lessons

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Washington, I encountered a phenomenal teacher in one of the undergrad history surveys. That experience prompted me to take more history courses and, eventually, I earned a degree in history. While I wouldn’t call myself a history buff, I’m quite aware of the many benefits of history awareness, particularly […]

What’s really going to happen with interest rates?

Well, in short…they’ll go up. But that’s the obvious answer. There’s a lot more to discuss. If you pay attention to the business or economics articles in the news, everything seems to be about the Fed. When will they raise rates? How will they exit QE3? Will the market tank because of it? Should the […]

Participation Payments to Dealers Coming to an End?

Where loan origination is fragmented, payments get made to intermediaries for the services provided.  In some cases, those payments are clearly disclosed to borrowers as fees on the loan.  However, most of the time the cost of paying the intermediary is built into the borrower’s interest rate.  In the mortgage world, this is called yield-spread […]

Easier isn’t always Better

When I was studying for my MBA, my favorite courses were in economics.  On the first day of one class, the professor wandered in with a stack of newspapers.  Each paper contained an article that he’d selected for the sole purpose of reading aloud and then demolishing its argument.  The exercise wasn’t to convince us […]

Nobody “Likes” Compliance

If the world were Facebook, nobody would “like” regulatory compliance.  It is one of those costs of doing business that most prefer to spend as little time as possible thinking about.  Kind of like keeping stocked up on kitchen supplies. What makes regulatory compliance so unpopular isn’t just the burden and complexity.  It’s that it […]