In what can only be described as a wanton display of absurdity, CNBC dedicated not one, not two, but three segments (and those are just the ones we noticed) to subprime auto lending on Wednesday producing, in the process, three of the most hilarious clips in recent memory.
There was Phil Lebeau with the latest numbers from Experian which show that average monthly payments hit a record high in Q4 at nearly $500 and the average amount being financed is up 4% Y/Y to nearly $24,000. It gets worse. Fully a quarter of new car loans carry terms of at least 73 months. That may sound bad, but Experian’s director of automotive finance Melinda Zabritski — the same Melinda Zabritski who last month said we are looking at a “remarkably stable automotive-loan market” — isn’t ready to pass judgement quite yet. "I haven't quite made up my mind on 84 month loans," she noted, although she did say she is “concerned.”
We also got a classic interview with AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson who notes that if you include leasing (which is of course different from buying, but why quibble over the details), loan terms are actually only 56 months. The rest of the clip can be summed up in three words: “Trucks, trucks, trucks.”
We saved the best for last. Watch below as Bill Griffeth and Kelly Evans host WSJ’s Jonathan Clements and Premier Financial Advisors’ Mark Martiak for a discussion on what we’re calling the car-stock arbitrage wherein you are (literally) encouraged to take out a 7 year loan with a rapidly amortizing asset as collateral in order to buy stocks.