Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Silicon Valley Financier: The Department of Education is the Country's Largest Predatory Lender

The LendIt conference is going on this week in San Francisco. Today, among the featured speakers was Mike Cagney, CEO, Chairman & Co-Founder of SoFi.

He is also co-founder and a managing member of Cabezon Investment Group, a global macro hedge fund, and non-executive Chairman of ReFlow. Before Cabezon, Cagney founded, was CEO and then Vice Chairman and Chief Architect of Finaplex, a leader in wealth management software that was sold to Broadridge. Prior to Finaplex, Mike was Senior Vice President and head trader for the proprietary trading and financial products group at Wells Fargo Bank.

He told the conference that he considers a predatory lender one who pushes a loan on someone where it does not make sense for the borrower to take out the loan based on the economics of the situation.

He called the Department of Education, with its student loan guarantees, the greatest predatory lender in the country,

He said that of the $1.3 trillion in student loans outstanding, only $300 billion of the paper could be refinanced. He said the rest of the loans are to those still in school or junk.

But in the end, he is a technocrat and mumbled something about his plan to reformulate the government-backed loan program. As though, for some undisclosed reason, free market education was not even a possibility.

These Silicon Valley guys generally get part of the problem---because they are smart. But don't be fooled into thinking they understand free markets.

To a financial engineer, just like most other engineers, engineering solutions seem to be the only solution---that's central planning.


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