Editors' pick: Originally published May 13, 2016.
The collapse of LendingClub (LC) shares after the ousting of its CEO is the harbinger of bad things to come in the lending industry, especially in the auto loan arena, said Brad Lamensdorf, portfolio manager for the Ranger Equity Bear ETF (HDGE) .
"While the zero interest rate has helped the economy, it now appears to be prompting highly aggressive measures through the lending industry," said Lamensdorf.
Shares of LendingClub closed at an all-time low Thursday after multiple firms said they would investigate the peer-to-peer lender for violations of federal securities laws. The fall comes a day after CEO Renaud Laplanche was removed from his post following questionable related-party transactions.
An internal investigation at the San Francisco-based company found that $22 million in subprime loan sales were invested in an outside fund against the investor's requirements and Laplanche was found to have ties to the firm. The company noted that three other senior managers resigned or were terminated based on the findings.
LendingClub's shares closed down more than 7% Thursday at $3.78 per share and have dropped more than 65% since the beginning of the year, despite posting better-than-expected first-quarter results.
Lamensdorf calls bad auto loans the "new subprime."
"The auto industry is bulging with new cars for sale and there are a huge number of three- and four-year auto leases coming due next year," said Lamensdorf. "This will crush the price of cars."
Lamensdorf is also short OneMain Holdings (OMF) , which provides secured and auto-secured personal loans, as well as Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB) , which Lamensdorf will expects to be hit by pricing problems as well.
"We think a lot of capacity will soon be coming online and this is going to hurt pricing and margins in the tire market," said Lamensdorf.