Capitalmind Podcast

Capitalmind

Capitalmind looks at stocks, bonds, funds and the macro to bring you their view on the Indian financial markets. We discuss all things related to investing at our focussed podcast that keeps it simple. For more, go to capitalmind.in and to invest with us, visit capitalmindwealth.com

Start Here
Podcast: UPI is most valuable when free
23-09-2022
Podcast: UPI is most valuable when free
RBI released a discussion paper that said: We’ve let you good people live all this time with “free” payment systems, so should we allow banks to start charging now? Specifically for UPI, which has reached volumes of 10 lakh crore rupees per month? And should we charge merchants? Deepak's answer is a big NO. He firmly believes that the payments ecosystem (and the economy as a whole) will gain much more than any fees on UPI transactions will. As always, Deepak has a context to his argument and covers a wide range of nuances. Listen to this podcast to understand his view on different aspects of the UPI payments system, its evolution, and the ways in which it can drive innovation. Also, this podcast covers many different aspects than Deepak's earlier post on the same topic.  Show Quotes & Time stamps 02:00 - Deepak and Shray trade fascinating stories about payment systems before UPI. 07:00 - The interoperability of UPI is a game changer 10:30 - How much do we pay for other payment systems? “RBI spends 4,824 crores per year printing cash. None of that cost is borne by anybody except the government itself” 14:30 - The evolution of ATMs, Cheques, NEFT, RTGS, and the big role that RBI played in making these systems affordable for users. 21:30 - Has UPI always been free? Or has it also evolved over time to be free? “The government went to parliament and passed a resolution to make UPI free… That’s the extent we went to keep this payment mechanism free” “1,00,000 Crore is now available to banks to make money by parking it RBI and earning interest…. This is because people want to keep money with banks to make UPI payments” 31:00 - How much does it actually cost to run the UPI payments system? “NPCI spends just ~680 crores per year maintaining the UPI infrastructure. Compare that against the float income that banks make on the additional 1 lac crore float” 34:00 - The argument that UPI is a toll road so you should charge for this "public infra" “Credit cards transact about 100k crore a month, debit cards 60k crore per month, ATM withdrawals are at 300k crore per month…. So even now, after all these years, credit + debit card transactions are not more than cash” 41:00 - If you don’t let players charge for UPI, who will fund innovation? “Internet protocols were free and they disrupted the world through innovation” “Interestingly, in the payments ecosystem, all innovation has come from the regulator and not private players” 43:40 - Counter arguments from Deepak’s Twitter on why UPI shouldn’t be free. 44:00 - Google and PhonePe did all the handwork to make UPI popular. Now you’re telling me I can’t make money on it? “You’re building a road and they tell you... you can never charge a toll. But you still keep building that road… that’s the payment apps for you” 50:00 - Let’s say that the biggest private players leave because you won’t let them make a profit. The top 2 guys control ~75% of all transactions. What happens to the ecosystem now? 1:02:00 - Why regulators have enforced limits on incentives and fees? “Financial regulation is not like tech where if you’re too big, rules change for you. Here, if you are too big, and you disturb the system, the regulator first makes you small and then beats you” 1:05:30 - Government responses to the UPI monetization paper were very harsh. Why so? “Hoarding cash is ok. Spending that cash on the economy creates a whole new economic system that’s outside the view of the government. That’s not ok” “From Jan 2020 to now, the total ATM withdrawals are flat. UPI has gone from 120k crore to 1000k crore. The fact that UPI transactions are free has reduced cash transactions” 1:09:30 - The number of UPI transactions has drastically increased. But, is that all? The UPI tech reached its full maturity? What do we have to look forward to wrt UPI? 1:14:00 - UPI as a credit check for lenders and a game-changer for quick small loans   There’s a lot more interesting stuff ahead with UPI. We’re just getting started!
Podcast: UPI is most valuable when free
23-09-2022
Podcast: UPI is most valuable when free
RBI released a discussion paper that said: We’ve let you good people live all this time with “free” payment systems, so should we allow banks to start charging now? Specifically for UPI, which has reached volumes of 10 lakh crore rupees per month? And should we charge merchants? Deepak's answer is a big NO. He firmly believes that the payments ecosystem (and the economy as a whole) will gain much more than any fees on UPI transactions will. As always, Deepak has a context to his argument and covers a wide range of nuances. Listen to this podcast to understand his view on different aspects of the UPI payments system, its evolution, and the ways in which it can drive innovation. Also, this podcast covers many different aspects than Deepak's earlier post on the same topic.  Show Quotes & Time stamps 02:00 - Deepak and Shray trade fascinating stories about payment systems before UPI. 07:00 - The interoperability of UPI is a game changer 10:30 - How much do we pay for other payment systems? “RBI spends 4,824 crores per year printing cash. None of that cost is borne by anybody except the government itself” 14:30 - The evolution of ATMs, Cheques, NEFT, RTGS, and the big role that RBI played in making these systems affordable for users. 21:30 - Has UPI always been free? Or has it also evolved over time to be free? “The government went to parliament and passed a resolution to make UPI free… That’s the extent we went to keep this payment mechanism free” “1,00,000 Crore is now available to banks to make money by parking it RBI and earning interest…. This is because people want to keep money with banks to make UPI payments” 31:00 - How much does it actually cost to run the UPI payments system? “NPCI spends just ~680 crores per year maintaining the UPI infrastructure. Compare that against the float income that banks make on the additional 1 lac crore float” 34:00 - The argument that UPI is a toll road so you should charge for this "public infra" “Credit cards transact about 100k crore a month, debit cards 60k crore per month, ATM withdrawals are at 300k crore per month…. So even now, after all these years, credit + debit card transactions are not more than cash” 41:00 - If you don’t let players charge for UPI, who will fund innovation? “Internet protocols were free and they disrupted the world through innovation” “Interestingly, in the payments ecosystem, all innovation has come from the regulator and not private players” 43:40 - Counter arguments from Deepak’s Twitter on why UPI shouldn’t be free. 44:00 - Google and PhonePe did all the handwork to make UPI popular. Now you’re telling me I can’t make money on it? “You’re building a road and they tell you... you can never charge a toll. But you still keep building that road… that’s the payment apps for you” 50:00 - Let’s say that the biggest private players leave because you won’t let them make a profit. The top 2 guys control ~75% of all transactions. What happens to the ecosystem now? 1:02:00 - Why regulators have enforced limits on incentives and fees? “Financial regulation is not like tech where if you’re too big, rules change for you. Here, if you are too big, and you disturb the system, the regulator first makes you small and then beats you” 1:05:30 - Government responses to the UPI monetization paper were very harsh. Why so? “Hoarding cash is ok. Spending that cash on the economy creates a whole new economic system that’s outside the view of the government. That’s not ok” “From Jan 2020 to now, the total ATM withdrawals are flat. UPI has gone from 120k crore to 1000k crore. The fact that UPI transactions are free has reduced cash transactions” 1:09:30 - The number of UPI transactions has drastically increased. But, is that all? The UPI tech reached its full maturity? What do we have to look forward to wrt UPI? 1:14:00 - UPI as a credit check for lenders and a game-changer for quick small loans   There’s a lot more interesting stuff ahead with UPI. We’re just getting started!
Why SEBI should implement India's EDGAR and more
08-09-2022
Why SEBI should implement India's EDGAR and more
Recently, as of 7th September 2022, total Demat accounts in India touched the 10 crore mark. This is a staggering increase from 4 crore Demat accounts in Mach 2020. This alone is a testimony of increased participation and inclusion of individuals in Indian markets. More and more Indians, especially youngsters, are taking to investing in equities enabled by their smartphones - digital broking, increased information access, and social media influence. The whole securities (stock) market ecosystem has evolved immensely over the past decade and deserves a lot of credit for the recent growth in the participation of new investors. At the helm of the ecosystem sits our regulators who are responsible to enable, guide, protect and watch the market participants to ensure that we have a fair and thriving market. In this episode, Deepak and Shray talk about the role SEBI can play in shaping the future of the markets. They talk about data warehousing, data accessibility, regulatory enhancements, bond markets, disclosures & reporting, and a lot more that would make our markets more accessible.  02:00 - As low as only 3% of household income is directed towards stock markets. Why are people so scared of investing in stocks? 04:00 - Game changers - Digital public goods in our financial system 09:00 - Data warehousing framework at RBI and its US counterpart 16:00 - Does an average investor even use the granular data that we’re expecting the regulators to build for? 24:00 - What company data should a centralized database ideally have? 32:00 - The way Indian companies play with stock tickers 34:30 - How will this organized information make things better for all participants? 39:30 - Better information access makes our markets more accessible to FIIs 43:00 - Crazy things that mutual funds & companies do with disclosures 48:00 - PMS & AIF returns should be cross-verified and shouldn’t be based on self disclosures “The more developed you are, the more signages you see on the road” 55:00 - SEBI is a far better regulator than many western counterparts. What do you still wish they should improve 59:00 - Would information disclosures will be a hassle for smallcase companies? 1:03:30 - AMFI - the Self Regulatory Organization (SRO) recognized by SEBI 1:11:00 - What can SEBI do less to make space for things you wish it should do? 1:15:00 - How much impact can SEBI have on increasing household participation in the markets?
Turbulent times - RBI thrives, Fed fumbles
21-08-2022
Turbulent times - RBI thrives, Fed fumbles
Markets are slaves of earnings and liquidity. Liquidity has taken prominence after the coronavirus outbreak. At first, central banks across the world increased liquidity by cutting rates and helping their populace to live through the pandemic. Then the after effects of increasing liquidity hit – increased inflation. Now, the same banks are sucking out liquidity by increasing interest rates to counter inflation. The looming after effect of increasing rates is the “r” word that is too pious to speak loudly. In this podcast, Deepak & Shray discuss the two central banks that impact us the most – RBI and Fed (Federal Reserve System, USA). What makes this podcast interesting is that we are looking at everything from the lens of who does better – Fed or RBI? Refer to the show notes to see the wide range of things discussed and start listening. .  Show notes & references: 02:00 - Why RBI will buy dollars to keep the rupee from appreciating?! Refer: What the Fed's Big Balance Sheet Unwind Means for Markets 05:00 - What happens when RBI sells dollars? 07:00 - How does it control the liquidity of the markets? 14:00 - How have banks run out of liquidity? 17:30 - If banks need money, why don’t they increase their FD rates? “Government is now a better bank than all banks. It’s also safer” 19:30 - RBI has taken out liquidity, you want to protect the status quo now. How does RBI do it? What are the consequences? “RBI owns 3X more of US government bonds than it holds Indian government bonds. But things are changing.” 25:00 - But is the Fed doing now? 26:30 - The interplay of treasury and Fed in the US government monetary environment "RBI hates to buy government bonds because it knows the government is fiscally irresponsible. The US would buy their govt bonds knowing that their government is even more fiscally irresponsible." 28:30 - Mortgage backed securities and agency guaranteed debt. “Fed reduced their balance sheet by ~0.5% while RBI has already reduced the balance sheet by almost 10% in the same period” 35:00 - How increasing interest rates will impact different sectors & industries? 37:00 - If US interest rates go to 4% it will impact India and the world 38:15 - What makes India be in a bright spot as compared to the west? 43:30 - UPI is 10X the size of credit cards in terms of transactions. It’s massive. 47:00 - We have screwed up much earlier and recovered. West is starting to experience the fruit of its irresponsible policies. “We might just be the single largest self dependent economy that’s worth investing in right now. With a local market which we have mostly given away to foreign players.” 53:00 - Domestic investments in equities by Indian investors have absorbed the highest ever FII selling spree. 56:00 - Our neighboring nations are falling apart mostly due to foreign dept - isn’t that a concern for us to open foreign investment? “If you don’t have the freedom to fire people, you won’t hire them at all. That’s how human psychology works” 01:02:30 - Summarising Where India is right now in the economic scene “If we don’t screw up, we will do really well. Because the world seems to have screwed up.”
Why the crypto crash impacts you?
25-07-2022
Why the crypto crash impacts you?
Crytocurrencies were all the rage in past few years on account of rising asset prices and volatility. Now, they are going through a bear market that has witnessed some popular currencies going totally bust. This pehnomemnon of an "asset class" going from hot to untouchable is not new. We've seen this again and again in different forms and proportions.  The current bear market in cryptos certainly impacts the investors, start-ups, promoters, and VCs who are directly involved in the crypto business. But, this bear market has second-order effects that may impact you as well. Listen in, as Deepak and Shray discuss the nuances of how the crpto bear market inpacts you.  Show notes & references: 01:40 -How does the crypto bear market have an impact on stock markets & economy? 08:30 - The indirect knockdown effects of crypto bear markets 10:00 - Digging deeper which other segments of the economy will face a slowdown due to crypto? 15:30 - The trickling effect of hot money going away from crypto startups 16:30 - Misunderstanding of risk by crypto investors 20:30 - The debacle of fancy virtual assets - Luna & Terra Refer: Terra's stablecoin UST collapses, LUNA falls 99% 24:50 - Learnings from Zee TV & Dish TV saga of taking loans from Mutual Funds via bonds Refer - Capitalmind post on Zee FMP Saga 34:00 - New investors moving to crypto with leverage and family savings basis TV marketing 39:00 - Why VCs don’t let failed crypto companies die? - No, it's not for the right reasons. 48:00 - By Now Pay Later - bad small loans of small ticket size are a similar problem. 50:00 - Promotor fraud is now called Rug Pull. Refer - What is a rug pull?  51:30 - The case for printing more money 54:30 - The commingling problem that stock exchanges have already solved. Crypto exchanges still fight that problem. Refer: Deepak Shenoy tweets about these issues in Dec 2021 56:40 - Will Deepak one day invest in crypto someday in the future? 58:30 - One great thing that has come out of crypto markets If you loved listening to Deepak talk about money and finance. You'll also find his book quite interesting - You can buy the book here – Money Wise.
Is it a good time to invest in gold?
29-06-2022
Is it a good time to invest in gold?
In this episode, Deepak and Shray unravel different aspects related to investing in gold.  Gold has been around as a store of value for a couple of millennia, probably longer, because of how little there is and how difficult it is to get out of the earth. Now get this - all the Gold mined would fit in a crate with sides of 21 meters. That’s roughly the length of three and a half standard containers. Yet, in the last decade, this scarce and loved asset class has done just enough to match inflation. This means, adjusted for inflation, gold has returned nothing! Now, after putting returns of gold into perspective, we get on to the theme of our podcast - Does it make sense to invest in Gold? We look at gold from different lenses while we determine - If gold is a hedge against inflation?Can gold protect you in a crisis like war?Is gold investment to create long-term wealth?Is there an efficient way to invest in gold? Show notes and references: 01:30 - Is gold the safe heaven when everything else falters? 05:00 - Today all assets classes act alike and correlated Refer - How Gold has performed over years? 08:00 - Gold hasn’t outperformed inflation in 2011! 12:30 - Times when gold did outperform the Nifty 15:30 - The second-order effects of gold smuggling 17:30 - Buying gold for emotional and goal-based reasons 20:00 - Should you buy gold to hedge against a crisis like war? 23:55 - Is buying digital better than physical gold? Refer - What is digital gold? 36:30 - Is gold as an ETF a good option? Refer - What are Gold ETFs? 38:30 - Sovereign gold bonds as an avenue for investing in Gold? Refer - What is the Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) scheme by Govt of India? 43:00 - What is the best way to buy gold? If you loved listening to Deepak talk about money and finance. You'll also find his book quite interesting - You can buy the book here – Money Wise.
Masala Money: Krish Ashok X Deepak Shenoy on Food and Finance
05-05-2022
Masala Money: Krish Ashok X Deepak Shenoy on Food and Finance
Two engineers get together to discuss two life essentials - food and money! Our food expert is Krish Ashok. Ashok is Global Head, Digital Workplace at TCS. He is a techie, a musician and an author. He talks about the science behind food, the history of food and offers a lot of food for thought for us to explore further. If you are interested, a good starting point is his famous book - Masala Lab. Our money expert is Deepak Shenoy. Deepak talks about the importance of managing your finances, the myths about investing, the fallacies that investors should avoid, and his take on cryptocurrencies. It is quite a treat to listen when he shares food metaphors to explain financial concepts. So listen in! Topics & References: 02:00 - Science of Indian food & cooking Refer - The parable of turkey and how things are done13:30 - Do modern food habits cause lifestyle diseases? 21:45 - Wait, it's the opposite? Butter is ok but the Naan is not? 25:30 - Basics of food everyone should follow Refer: Michael Pollan: Three Simple Rules for Eating37:00 - The play of sugar & salt 40:00 - People hate changing food habits 45:00 - Each of us processes the same flavor differently 49:00 - We don’t like something because its unfamiliar, not necessarily bad 52:00 - Misconceptions about Food Refer: Why the Tomato Was Feared in Europe for More Than 200 Years56:00 - The myths of Genetic Modification Refer - The Story of Norman Borlaug, the American Scientist Who Helped Engineer India’s Green Revolution01:01:00 - How do we make more people cook? (especially, the men) Refer - Apple Cider Vinegar Rasam01:07:00 - Does the online food delivery phenomenon change things for food and our food habits? 01:11:00 - Switching roles - Ashok Asks Deepak about Money 01:13:00 - Building a relationship with money Refer: Book: The Lexus and the Olive Tree01:17:30 - What money can do for you? 01:23:00 - How an adult should learn the basics of Finance? Refer: Book: An Economist Gets Lunch01:43:00 - How should salaried professionals think about Income Tax? 01:50:00 - Working as an employee Vs working as a businesses 01:54:00 - Understanding Inflation first before learning about investment returns Refer: What you know about inflation might be wrong02:01:00 - How do you make money work for you? 02:09:00 - How to allocate between Equity & Fixed Income? 02:11:00 - Ways for your money to make more money? 02:16:00 - Importance of diversification in Finance & Food 02:19:00 - How should one think about their own risk appetite? Refer: Harry Markowitz and Modern Portfolio TheoryRefer: How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking02:28:00 - Is there a tool that helps track personal financial growth? 02:37:00 - Deepak’s thoughts on cryptocurrencies Refer: Blockchains Are a Bad Idea (James Mickens)Refer: Selling Shovels in the New Startup Gold Rush You can buy Krish Ashok's book on the science of Food - Masala lab. You can buy Deepak Shenoy's book on investing - Money Wise. Check out our wealth management service - Capitalmind Wealth (PMS)
Why you need to stop buying bankrupt companies
29-03-2022
Why you need to stop buying bankrupt companies
What happens when a company goes bankrupt? Why do investors buy their stocks that are headed to zero? In this episode, we explore how the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has changed the game. Deepak explains the many nuances of current regulations and how they've evolved. We dive into examples such as Bhushan Steel, Sintex and Ruchi Soya - which we hope will give you clarity. Listen in and decide. Would you stay the hell away from such stocks, or start hunting for bargains? --- Understanding Bankruptcy Businesses are tough and the best ones survive. There are ample failure points for a business that can drive it to bankruptcy. One or a combination of factors such as economical, social, regulatory, political, geographical, etc can drive a business suddenly to the ground or induce a slow death. Such companies eventually stare at bankruptcy. We discuss - - What is bankruptcy? - Does everyone lose money when companies go bankrupt? - Who gets what when the company is sold for parts? --- Learnings from the Sintex saga Sintex Industries, the Ahmedabad-based company, that boasts of tanks covering the skyline of most cities of India, was dragged to bankruptcy courts after it defaulted on a meager payment of ~15.4 crores towards principal and interest on its NCDs. This was the final nail in the coffin for the firm that had mismanaged its finances for too long. We discuss - - What Sintex does as a business - How the company was re-structured (through demerger) - How its issues snowballed to lead the company into IBC Eventually, the IBC ( Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) tribunal was able to keep the company running and also got a successful bidder to buy out the stressed company. That’s good news for almost all of its stakeholders. Except for its shareholders who will lose all of their equity in the company. So they get nothing. Zero. --- So How does IBC work? Why do existing shareholders lose everything? The short answer: Because existing shareholders contribute nothing to the upcoming growth of the company, they get nothing. The company that these existing shareholders bought into eventually went bankrupt. So the story for existing shareholders ends here with a big zero in their hands. Sounds unfair but that’s how it is. We discuss - - How does the IBC process work? - Every existing stakeholder (debtors, employees, vendors) gets some part of the new entity. The current shareholders should also get a piece no? - What actually happened to  Sintex shares? - How did things use to happen before the IBC? There are a lot of examples discussed in this section that explain different aspects of the bankruptcy process and also highlight how each bankruptcy case is different. --- But, existing shares of Ruchi Soya went up "to the moon" while it was going through bankruptcy All bankruptcies are different and unique. Ruchi Soya was trending on social media recently because the company came back strongly from bankruptcy and its investor (Patanjali) seems to have made a killing on its investment. There’s lots more to the whole revival story. Deepak explains - - How regulatory rules change impacted the Ruchi Soya bankruptcy process - The bidding by Adani and Patanjali - Interestingly, they kept 1% of the company listed. Why? - How does Patanjali make Ruchi Soya operating cash flow positive? - The positive impact of Covid - Why is a company that makes only 800 Crores has a market cap of 31000 crores? --- Does investing in distressed companies work? We all love investing at its theoretical best - buy extremely low and sell high. We also keep repeating Buffett's quotes like “Buy when there is blood on the street”. Distressed companies feel like a value buy all time but they are almost always value traps or falling knives or whatever. We briefly touch upon this before we wind up the podcast - - A quick reference to Buffett’s investing in the Salomon brothers - Brookfield & Hotel Leela deal - distress investing Let us know if you enjoyed our podcasts on Twitter or write to us at premium [at] capitalmind [dot] in!
Why SEBI doesn’t want you getting advice from unregulated algos
14-12-2021
Why SEBI doesn’t want you getting advice from unregulated algos
With technology comes great responsibility, says SEBI, as it attempts to regulate the algorithmic trading markets that have just started to evolve in India. The concept of “API” trading, through Application Programming Interfaces is the standard in the web and app-based world, but SEBI doesn’t want you to manage your own money programmatically. Or, worse, to give it to someone else who is “unregulated” to manage your money through an algorithm either.  In this episode we discuss SEBI’s recent consultation paper on algorithmic trading and how it impacts you. What roles do algorithms play in managing your money and will a program be investing on your behalf in the near future. SEBI published a consultation paper on algorithmic trading by retail investors on Thu Dec 9 2021The paper impacts any form of “automated” trading: through a broker provided API in general as well as Algo TradingAn example of an Algorithm that already exists - Good Till Traded orders offered by your broker. They place an order automatically every single day through a program.Algorithms that would help retail investors- “Buy/Sell this stock if it falls 10%”, or manage the extreme risk on my portfolio (insurance, of sorts).The motivation for this paper is the emergence of 3rd Party platforms that make use of APIs through algorithms, where you share your API keys etc and they automatically trade on your account.The Algorithm behaves like a proxy fund manager or money manager. They can trade your account whenever they want.Concern: What if they make big losses and you have no idea of how much they can hurt you?Concern: Can’t these platforms get a lot of customers and then auto-manipulate a stock, in the name of algo trading?Concern: APIs + Algorithms could be used to overwhelm/stuff the exchange or be used to manipulate a security’s price. Rate limiting and cool off periods could help address this.Consultation paper currently bans all APIs and places onus on brokers to regulate them and suggests that brokers take responsibility to run the algorithms on their systemThe paper would enable the Broker to empanel someone (and do the checks/risk assessment/quality control) but would prevent an individual from setting up something themselves - but this seems unenforceable.Stopping APIs altogether is like using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito. We could achieve many of the objectives by having the algorithm pop up an approve/reject screen that the user has to click on. If you have say more than 50 lakhs or something in your account then you could potentially have fully automatic execution. This would be a useful middle ground to protect the smaller retail customers.When I click a buy button on Zerodha Kite it triggers an API, when you click a buy button on Smallcase to buy on say zerodha it also triggers a bunch of API, when you place an order through a program that also triggers an API - how do you differentiate between the three? And you can’t build an app without APIsEven fund managers are found guilty of say front running or offloading - SEBI can come after them since they are regulated. If you’re trading other people’s money and earning from it - you have to be treated with the same level of compliance as a fund manager (PMS/AIF etc)There aren’t any fund manager rules that allow you to run strategies with the kind of leverage that these algorithms allow you to.According to Nithin’s twitter space only 0.5% of zerodha users use algos.If you’re running your own algorithm that really should be allowedFuture of fund management (especially at scale) will require some levels of automation and APIs so we can’t take a regressive or overly harsh stand. Read more at
P2P lending in India. How does it work and are the risks worth it?
15-11-2021
P2P lending in India. How does it work and are the risks worth it?
How does P2P lending work in India? How safe is P2P lending? Deepak and Shray explore how the industry works, the risks involved and whether the returns are enough to justify the risks. Summary Banks keep a considerable spread between the interest they offer on a deposit and the interest they charge a borrower. So, some people think, why is the spread so big? Why can't I deal with the borrower directly and receive more interest on my money?The problem is you don't know the person you are going to be lending money to. In comes the P2P lending company, which acts as a sort of intermediary between the lender and borrower.When you give your money to a bank (as a deposit), the bank will guarantee that you will get your money back. But in the case of P2P lending, there is no such guarantee that you will get your money back.Another problem with P2P lending is, no one outside knows the actual default rates, and they are often much higher than what these companies report, even though the whole operation is legal.In P2P lending, you don’t see one of the three Cs of lending – you don't have collateral; you have capacity and creditworthiness.One of the reasons why P2P companies have flourished is that banks, which should ideally lend money to people whose credit might be questionable, don't lend to them. But the answer is not to 'lend' them money. You can consider it as a form of charity, in which case, even if you don't get the money back, you don't mind losing it. And there are companies that work on this model.An alternative could be microfinance. But there are problems there too. Often, multiple microfinance companies want to lend to the same borrower, who uses the money for purposes other than what they were intended for, with the result that they are not able to repay.But microfinance companies can take this pressure because they are a company. A P2P lending firm is just an intermediary. They have no way to recover the money if a borrower refuses to pay, except send legal notices (because there is no collateral), which may not work.So, the gist is, if you want to give loans through a P2P lending firm, only lend so much that you won't mind even if you lose the money. Give it for charitable purposes. Give it to people who are in such bad shape, they can't afford anything else. Read the full transcript.