美国汽车贷款 Bad carma 因果循环


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Car loans in America

美国汽车贷款

Bad carma

因果循环

Borrowers, not lenders, have more to fear from the latest subprime lending boom

贷款人,而不是出借人,更加惧怕最近次级贷款的繁荣

For whom?

为了谁

WHAT would you rather lose: your house or your car? In America, where a car is usually essential to get to work, many borrowers would sooner lose their house, which explains why in the years after the crisis, mortgages were more likely to go bad than car loans. It also explains why auto loans, unlike mortgages, are booming. New loans reached 371 billion in the year to June, up 7.4% from the previous year and 64% since 2009. Subprime auto loans, made to the riskiest borrowers, have grown even faster, by 93% since 2009.

房子或者是汽车,你舍得哪一样?在美国,汽车对于上班族来说常常是必不可少的,许多贷款人可能很快失去他们的房子,这解释了为什么在危机之后的几年,住房抵押贷款比汽车贷款更加容易恶化。这也说明了为什么汽车贷款不像住房抵押一样正经历着一场繁荣。到今年六月份,新的贷款量已经达到了3710亿美元,比去年上升了7.4%,自2009年来提升了64%。给予高风险的贷款人的刺激汽车贷款增长得更快,自2009年以来上升了93%。

This growth is due to rising car sales and ample credit as banks, finance companies and carmakers’ financing arms compete to lend to consumers, either directly or via car dealers. Those loans are then packaged into securities for yield-hungry investors. Experian, a credit-scoring agency, reckons 85% of new and 54% of used cars are now bought with loans, compared to 79% and 52% in 2007.

这样的增长是由不断增加的汽车销量以及银行、金融公司和汽车制造商财务分支竞相直接或通过分销商借款给消费者的丰富贷款造成的。这些贷款最后被包装成证券交给渴求利润的投资者。信用评级公司益佰利评估:85%的新车和54%的旧车是用贷款买的,相比之下,2007年两者数据分别为79%和52%。

As volumes have soared, underwriting standards have slipped, with the average subprime loan rising to 115% of the car’s value this year from 112% in 2011, according to Standard & Poor’s, a ratings agency. The average life of a loan has grown too, to more than five years. Delinquencies, naturally, are rising: more than 3% of loans are at least 60 days in arrears, up from 2% in 2011.

随着总量的激增,证券包销标准也下降了,根据评分机构标准普尔公司的数据,平均次级贷款从2011年占汽车价值的112%上升到了今年的115%。平均借贷周期也延长到超过五年。违约行为自然地多了:超过3%的贷款至少有60天的逾期,而2011年是2%。

There is much talk of a new subprime bubble, akin to the cavalier mortgage lending that helped spark the financial crisis. The Department of Justice has asked two big car-loan companies, GM Financial, a unit of General Motors, and Santander Consumer, controlled by Spain’s Santander Group, for details about their subprime underwriting and securitisation.

有关新的次贷泡沫有许多讨论,就好像目空一切的房屋抵押贷款引发了金融危机那样。司法部要求两大汽车借贷公司—通用旗下的通用金融和西班牙桑坦德集团控制下的桑坦德消费银行—提供其次级证券包销标准以及证券化的细节。

Yet the two markets are fundamentally different. Start with size. At 905 billion, total auto loans are barely a tenth of total mortgage debt. Subprime is also more established in auto lending, accounting for 20% to 30% of total loans since 2000.

但是这两个市场是明显不一样的。就规模来说,9050亿美元的汽车贷款仅仅是房贷总额的十分之一。次级贷款占了汽车贷款的很大比重,从2000年来占据了贷款总量的20%到30%。

The mortgage bubble fed on the delusion of both borrowers and lenders that house prices could only rise and thus a loan could always be repaid. In contrast, lenders assume cars only depreciate, and charge accordingly: annual subprime interest rates average 14%, and 25% is not uncommon. Cars are also easier to repossess and resell.

房产泡沫基于出借人和贷款人的幻想——房价只能涨,这样贷款才能一直被支付。相反,出借人只期望汽车贬值,并且相应地进行收费:年均次级贷款利率为14%,甚至25%也不是鲜见。汽车也更加容易再次买卖。

So while losses are likely to mount, lenders do not face a mortal threat. It is borrowers who have more reason to worry. A car loan is a complex transaction that hinges not just on the price of a car, but also on its trade-in value, extras such an extended guarantee or rust proofing, and most important, the interest rate. A dealer typically selects a quote from a bank or finance company via his computer and marks it up. The higher the markup, the greater the payment he receives from the lender.

所以尽管有可能增加损失,出借方并未面临致命的威胁。贷款人才更加应该多操心。汽车贷款是个以复杂的交易,它不仅和汽车价格挂钩,也和其抵价值,额外的费用如延长保修时间或者防锈处理以及最重要的利率有关。交易员一般通过电脑引用银行或者金融公司的报价再加上一定价。价加得越高,他从出借方得到的报酬也就越高。

Consumer advocates fret that this process leaves the unsophisticated—as subprime customers tend to be—at the mercy of unscrupulous dealers. They may be charged a higher rate despite qualifying for a lower one, sold unneeded or overpriced extras, or even told, a few days after they drive off with the car, that their loan was turned down and they must pay a higher rate. “None of the prices are fixed, and each unfixed price is a potentially abusive negotiating point,” says Tom Domonoske, a lawyer who represents aggrieved buyers. Consumer advocates would like markups replaced with a flat fee.

消费者保护机构担心这个过程会让那些没有经验的消费者—次级贷款顾客往往是这样—受不良交易员的支配。他们可能被收一个更高的利率,尽管他们有资格获得更低的利率,并且“被消费”不必要的或者过高价格的附加项,甚至在他们开了几天车之后被告知他们的贷款呗取消了并且他们必须支付一个更高的利率。受害消费者的代表律师Tom Domonoske说:“这些价格没有一个是固定的,并且每一个不固定的价格都是一个潜在的被滥用的谈判砝码。”消费者权益维护者期望用稳定的费用取代加价。

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new watchdog agency set up after the financial crisis, is also worried that lots of borrowers get a raw deal. It has told banks and finance companies that it holds them responsible for the behaviour of the dealers they work with, and that it considers dealers’ discretion over markups an invitation to discrimination. It has already got one big finance firm to pay 98m to settle a claim that it was charging minority borrowers higher interest rates and is investigating others.

金融危机后设立的监管代理—消费者金融保护局也担心许多贷款人被不公平对待。它已经告知银行和金融公司,要求他们对合作的交易员的行为负责,并且它认为交易员就加价的任意决定权是一种歧视。它已经让一个大的金融集团支付9800万美元,因为该集团向少数贷款人收取高额的利率,另外保护局还在调查其他公司。

Dealers are fuming at the CFPB’s muscle-flexing. Competition, they say, ensures that customers get the best rate; dealers need discretion to compete. By raising costs, stricter regulation may actually reduce the amount of credit available.

交易员对于保护局的武力示威愤愤不平。他们说,竞争保证了消费者获得最好的利率:交易员需要自由决断权来应对竞争。通过提高成本,更严格的规章可能实际上减少信贷的提供量。

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