How Lending Club’s Biggest Fanboy Uncovered Shady Loans


If you knew where to look inside the loan company, things were worse than anybody realized.

1471480898_feat_lendingclub35-5Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 11, 2014.

“You ready to see some crazy shit?”

Bryan Sims and I were sitting in the dining room of his modest home in Portland, Ore., in front of a laptop and a flatscreen monitor. A bulky home-built computer sat on the floor, with a handwritten warning taped on the side: “DO NOT TURN OFF. POST-APOCALYPTICAL FINANCIAL CRISIS WILL ENSUE.”

The sign was a joke, but with a hint of truth. It was early June, and for months, Sims’s computer had been churning through a database of loans made by Lending Club. The San Francisco-based marketplace lender is either the most important company in the booming financial technology sector or, if its many critics are to be believed, a Silicon Valley-tinged credit crisis waiting to happen…

How Lending Club’s Biggest Fanboy Uncovered Shady Loans

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