Blogs by David O'Connell

April 21, 2020

So Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) round one is over, and what a storm it was. Some things went well, others went badly. These are worth considering somewhat closely. After all, there is at least another US$250 billion coming down the legislative pipeline. We are going to be at this for at least a few more weeks, maybe even a few months, if COVID-19 spikes in late fall, as did the Spanish flu in 1918. 

April 13, 2020

The challenge of getting all that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money out to businesses is the inverse of what’s going on with the pandemic itself. At the same time that the U.S. is trying to avoid a spike in demand for its healthcare infrastructure, it is actually invoking for its small-and-midsize-business (SMB) lending infrastructure a 100-year storm in lending demand. Unsurprisingly, the outcomes are mixed.

November 15, 2019

Commercial lending is a crazy business right now. There is far too much capital sloshing around the economy, driving down costs to borrowers and making it hard for lenders to get paid for the riskiness of the loans they extend. Pricing is so disconnected from risk, in fact, that it’s common for bankers to refer to commercial lending as “a loss leader.” Really? All that work fielding loans, underwriting them, getting collateral, securing it, and negotiating the underlying terms for a “loss leader”? This scares me, and it should scare you too.