Automated Credit Fails

Yves Smith:

Banking has suffered a not-sufficiently-acknowledged loss of know-how on the lending side.

…by the mid 1980s, the big end of town was fascinated with automated models and expert systems. American Express was considered the sophisticate of the crowd, allegedly with the most finely tuned program.

Fast forward 20 plus years, and the credit card issuers formerly seen as most savvy, Amex and Capital One, now are sporting credit losses not markedly different than their peers.

FICO based mortgage lending has proven to be a train wreck.

The problem is that there isn’t a good substitute for knowledge of the borrower and his community. Does he understand what he is getting into? How stable is his employer? What are the prospects for the local economy? Those are important considerations, and they require judgment.