SFIG 2019 Day 2
Regulators on Capitol Hill are often keen to demonstrate their willingness to embrace innovations in financial services, but fewer words and more action are needed from politicians to protect both lenders and consumers if fintech’s potential is to be realised, panellists at the Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG) conference said on Monday morning.
Opinions on the likelihood and timing of the next recession were divergent at this year’s SFIG Vegas conference, but speakers on a panel on Monday morning said that they are positioning for the downturn by moving into private deals and consumer ABS assets.
A slowing economy is likely to weigh on US corporates, leading to rating downgrades that could induce CLO managers to sell loans on the basis of failed overcollateralization or weighted average ratings tests. A small but growing handful of new issue deals are already taking active bets on such downgrades and incorporating a bigger bucket for downgraded debt or accommodating a hybrid pool of bonds and loans.
Dan Berce, president and CEO of GM Financial, was optimistic about the state of the US consumer during a CEO roundtable discussion on day two of SFIG Vegas, while also sharing some views on how the market should be thinking about a recession in the near term.
The road ahead appears long and daunting when it comes to finding a solution for legacy floating rate debt denominated in Libor, which banks will no longer be compelled to report after 2021.
To a standing-room-only crowd of trembling ABS professionals either hoping for a glimpse of the awesome future that artificial intelligence and machine learning promise for the finance industry, or awaiting the proclamation of a death sentence for their jobs, fintech panellists offered bittersweet consolation: the ABS industry still needs humans. For now, at least.
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