Surprising Stats of 2023

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Remember when interest rates soared, banks collapsed, and experts began to prepare for the worst? Well, appearances can be deceiving.

Business loan origination volume at Square, Enova, Shopify, and Funding Circle are all on track to surpass 2022’s numbers. When it came to bad debt, PayPal was the only large tech lender to announce that it had become a problem this year. PayPal’s origination numbers are consequently also down year-over-year.

The S&P 500 was at 3,839.50 one year ago and closed at 4,774.75 yesterday, a gain of more than 24%.

Unemployment was 3.5% last December and had only modestly increased to 3.7% this November.

Inflation was 7.1% last November and only 3.1% this November.

Bitcoin is up by 150% year-over-year!

Anecdotal reports at smaller non-public small business funders, however, have hinted at bad debt increases all year and underwriting has generally become more conservative. Despite this, brokers are still brokering deals and funders are still funding. The predicted mass AI-induced layoffs have also not yet materialized. In the grand scheme of things, the argument could be made that 2023 was actually a pretty good year.

But 2024 could be dicey.

  • The FCC closed the lead generator loophole.
  • The first wave of small business finance companies will have to begin complying with new CFPB regulations.
  • It will be a presidential election year like none ever experienced before.
  • Americans are overleveraged. Forty percent of student loan borrowers failed to make a payment after the covid-era pause ended.
  • General economic, societal, and political unease.

So what will happen? I guess we’ll find out. It could be terrible or awesome or anything in between.

Last modified: December 27, 2023
Sean Murray

Category: Economy

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