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More Trouble in Bonds Backed by Peer-to-Peer Loans

Fresh worries arise over the health of one of financial markets' newest asset classes.
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Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg

In mid-December, shortly before Christmas, Moody's Investors Service gave a gift to investors in the fast-growing marketplace-lending space: the chance to buy a junior slice of a securitization of "peer-to-peer" loans with a credit rating and a spread of 6 percent over benchmark swaps.

Eight weeks later, investors found Moody's in a much less generous mood. The rating agency announced it was considering downgrading the riskiest portion of the deal, along with the junior tranches of two similar securitizations that had been previously sold to investors.