Your personal information is valuable.
When I liquidated vehicles for Capital One, we typically examined over 14,000 variables before lending out our money to a customer.
Any customer. A credit card. An automobile. A commercial loan. It didn’t matter. We needed to get to know the economics of you first.
All of the low rates and big profits were dependent on buying your personal information, and then crafting decision models and metrics to determine your personal risk.
Our success in auto finance generated low rates for our customers and low delinquencies for our investors. But they both could have been far lower.
The most interesting section of every S-1 filing is undoubtedly the “risks” section, in which companies are legally compelled to disclose all possible material risks associated with investing in their IPOs. Unfortunately, these risks are typically overstated, as no firm on the verge of going public wants to run into trouble with the SEC for under-reporting risk. As a result, many of the risks disclosed are fairly mundane, everyday risks in the world of business (currency, commodity price, and other economic fluctuations, etc). At the same time, companies rarely give reporters a full tour of their major risk areas the way these sections do, so they’re usually worth a read. GM’s just-released S-1 filing is no exception…