GIP-63: Using GFI to Help With Principal Loss

Summary

I propose that the Goldfinch community use up to 1.5 million GFI, which can be sold for USDC to reimburse lenders in all existing pools on the Goldfinch protocol. Specifically, 90% of the proceeds should be used to reimburse lenders for losses that they have incurred from borrowers who have defaulted on their loans. The remaining 10% should be used for any associated costs, such as legal fees, exchange fees, or other related expenses.

Motivation

The Lend East situation has been a significant shock to the Goldfinch community. There are also other borrowers that may default on their loans. The Goldfinch Treasury’s GFI holdings can help lenders. Proposal GIP-62 already provides one approach, but I think this proposal is a better use of Goldfinch resources.

Specifications and Requirements

To balance all of these comments mentioned in GIP-62, I propose the following.

  • The Goldfinch community should use up to a maximum of 1.5M GFI, which can be gradually converted over time to USDC to cover losses across all pools. Based on recent GFI prices, that’s about $6 million. This should provide comfort to Lend East lenders and the Senior Pool that some of their losses will be covered by the Goldfinch community.
  • The USDC allocation should be made claimable to lenders (senior pool and backers) pro rata.
    • Any USDC should be made claimable to all lenders in the pool, proportional to total loss. So, if Backers had 50% of all losses in a pool, they should receive 50% of that USDC allocation.
    • The Goldfinch Foundation could require lenders to assign their positions in exchange for claiming the USDC. An assignment would allow the Goldfinch Foundation to pursue legal claims against the borrowers who have defaulted.
  • The USDC for a given pool should be made claimable 120 days after that pool’s maturity date. This aligns with the timeframe for the on-chain writedown. It also gives borrowers enough time to cure any defaults. This should also be enough time for the Goldfinch Foundation to begin any legal proceedings. There should be limits on how much a pool receives:
    • No more than 50% of losses from a single borrower will be covered. This is for several reasons. First, there is limited GFI so this helps cover potentially multiple borrowers. Second, making the maximum meaningful but not 100% would reduce the risk of moral hazard.
    • No more than 30% can be used for any given pool (so max 450k GFI worth). This means that if any other pools default, there will be some aid for those lenders too, and we don’t use all the GFI for one pool.
  • The USDC should only be used to cover Lend East and other current pools where the Senior Pool is involved. It should not apply to Tugende, which has already gotten support form the Goldfinch community.
  • 10% of the USDC should be set aside for things like legal costs and exchange costs.
  • If, at the end of all current pools maturing, there is still “left over” GFI from this allocation, the Goldfinch community can vote on what to do with it.

Benefits

  • This provides an efficient path for meaningful support to both Backers and the Senior Pool while balancing many of the concerns already raised.

Downside

  • It allocates a sizable portion of the overall treasury, 6.5%, which is about 5% of the circulating supply.

Voting

“Yes” - Allocate 1.5M GFI toward loss recovery efforts.

“No” - Do nothing.

Thanks for issuing a new proposal.

Can you clarify whether “The Goldfinch Foundation could require lenders to assign their positions in exchange for claiming the USDC” means that lenders will authorize Goldfinch to sue LendEast on their behalf or that any additional collection will go to Goldfinch first instead of the lenders? The logic for me, given how little compensation this proposal represents, would be that further recovery, if any, would still go first to the lenders, and then to Goldfinch protocol.

Also, to be practical, with the cap at 30% per pool, we are talking at USD1.6/1.7m for LendEast investors out of a USD6m+ loss which is 28% of the loss i.e. very little. I’d advise bringing the total GFI amount to GFI3.0m so that we can get closer to effectively 50% compensated. Maybe the proposal can have 2 or 3 different amounts to vote for.

Lastly I understand the logic of the 120 days period for the Senior pool to align with the on-chain writedown, but I am not sure how to implement this for backers given that the writedown is immediate.

Hello @ixens! Thanks for wrapping it up.

I cannot support it for the following reasons:

  1. Token Price Impact: Allocating a large amount of GFI tokens to compensate for principal losses might lead to a significant increase in token supply in the market. This could potentially cause a dump in the GFI token price, adversely affecting all token holders.
  2. Insufficient Coverage for Potential Defaults: Currently, the active loans on the platform total around $75 million. The proposal suggests using 1.5 million GFI, roughly equivalent to $6 million, to cover losses, which would not be sufficient to address 50% of potential defaults in a worst-case scenario. This inadequacy in coverage does not provide a robust enough safety net for lenders.

Hey @ixens, thanks for putting this together. I think this represents a pretty good compromise between all of the viewpoints that were discussed in the previous proposal. As we had mentioned in our comments to GIP-62, we weren’t opposed to ever using GFI, but we thought it needed to be more thoughtful and scoped to appropriately balance all the issues. I think this proposal does a solid job of that. I’m curious what the rest of the community thinks, but I think we could be supportive of a version of this proposal.

To Herve’s question, I’m not sure what the intent was, but I agree that having further recovery go to Lenders first (until they are made whole, and not beyond), and the protocol second makes sense. To get specific, the way I imagine that would happen is… if lenders had estimated losses of $1M 120 days after the maturity, and this proposal ended up giving them $500k, and then let’s say that $1M ended up being recovered, the lenders would only get $500k additional, and the the protocol would “pay itself back” with the remaining $500k.

I will vote against because I think that this is not a solution, the sale of GFI will greatly put pressure on the market value… and other borrowers, seeing this, will also be motivated not to pay their debts

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My opinion is that we should wait for full assessment from Warbler. @Herve has asked very good questions in Update on Lend East Pool.

@obscar has raised very genuine concern here. There is a real behavioral risk from other borrowers if funding from treasury is as easy.

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Obscar assumption is wrong: treasury support to the lenders would not give any negative incentive to borrowers. You can even consider that recovery is more likely if the treasury and Warbler jump in to support lenders and become the owners of the receivables.

Case 1: Treasury provides working capital to the lenders, Goldfinch/Warbler buys the IOU and sue the borrowers, and gets the proceeds if they manage to win in court. They have a strong incentive to sue the borrowers very hard.

Case 2: Treasury doesn’t provide working capital to lenders, Goldfinch/Warbler asks the lenders to appoint them as agents to sue the borrower. The only reason Goldfinch/Warbler would fight hard is PR, but they have no financial gain at stake. In any case it’s very unlikely individual lender start a court case against borrowers given the costs associated.

Case 1 is more scary from a borrower’s perspective because they know that the person suing them (Warbler/Goldfinch) will fight hard because they have a strong financial incentive to do so and collect efficiently

Given that no individual lender can afford a lawsuit, supporting lenders is the best way to align incentives and maximize recovery.

A fully decentralized system where the middleman (Goldfinch/Warbler) does not jump in substancially is a free pass for borrowers to keep committing fraud

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Stratos is boasting to have made a 273x return on their WIF investment. Why This Hedge Fund Bought Dogwifhat at 1 Cent: ‘It Had a Hat’ - Decrypt - Shouldn’t it mean that Warbler can get the money back from the Stratos bail-out now?

Overall it’s quite absurd that Warbler decided to bail out a pool for which the money was used to gamble on memecoins, and then for LendEast, Warbler team says “sorry we can’t do anything the lenders had to do a better DD”

Am I the only one to feel a great injustice there?

Thanks for making this proposal, @ixens.

We (Warbler Labs) have two suggested edits.

First, if lenders assign their positions to the foundation, we think it should be clear that partial recovery should just be for a partial amount. So, we propose that in that section, instead of saying “…could require lenders to assign their positions in exchange for…” it should instead say “…could require lenders to assign a portion of their positions in exchange for…”.

Second, we think it should be clear that lenders shouldn’t end up get more than principal losses as a result of future unexpected repayments. We propose adding a bullet at the end that says: “If, later on, borrowers end up repaying more than expected, any excess after making lenders whole on their principal investment should go to paying the Goldfinch Foundation back.”

Hey @ixens!

Provided that GIP-62 and GIP-63 are quite similar, we received feedback from @nanojohn on how he would like to proceed with the voting. Please refer to: GIP-62: Allocate GFI token from treasury for principal loan losses - #34 by nanojohn

Let us know if you are good with that approach and if you want to make any edits to your current proposal, @mikesall suggested above.

Please feel free to follow up until Monday, when we would like to start planning for the voting.

I understand that everyone is impatient about getting some form of resolution, however, I would advise delaying a vote before we get a better understanding of the case, the likelihood of recovery, and the responsibilities of every entity. Some elements are still very unclear, in particular:

  1. The actual performance of LendEast underlying portfolio. “lendEast refuses to give information” is not a good enough answer and I would expect @mikesall and @blakewest and the Goldfinch team, that has network and contacts in the credit space, and has monitored the investment for two years, to have at least a rough idea of the what is the reality

  2. The history of communication between LendEast and Goldfinch, in particular regarding the maturity extension request made by LendEast to Goldfinch team and that was never communicated to lenders

  3. The actual legal structure of the investment given that we heard that one entity in the structure that lenders bought into was allegedly never incorporated. If this is the case then that would mean lenders have invested in a structure designed by Goldfinch and LendEast but that was broken and rotten from the start.

  4. Some high-level direction about how Goldfinch plans to sue LendEast and/or Karan Bathia

It’s been now a month and it feels that we have very little information and transparency beyond ready-made answers drafted by lawyers.

Glad that the community finds this proposal valuable! Excited to reach a resolution here.

This is correct

These seem reasonable, I’d be happy to edit the post, but I can’t make any edits.

Works for me!

Sorry for chipping in this late in the conversation.
I have a few questions:

  1. Wouldn’t GFI price tank if we sell such huge amount of tokens? If we keep selling GFI for every default, will Goldfinch as a protocol exist at all? Why would anyone buy/hold GFI if they know the community is going to sell millions of GFI whenever there is a default? Aren’t we putting the entire protocol at risk by doing this?
  2. Once we agree to this proposal, then for every default in the future, we will have to sell the GFI and compensate backers. Are we ready for that?
  3. Are there no other alternate ways of compensating backers (other than selling GFI)?
  4. Can’t we wait for Warbler Labs to first get all the relevant information, sue LendEast, go through the Legal process and see how much we can recover and then think about these proposals?

Right now, I am torn between Yes and No and not able to decide which is the right path. As a backer in multiple pools, I can totally understand how backers feel right now and feel really sorry for them and I hope they get their principal back sooner rather than later. But, as a GFI holder and as a proponent of Goldfinch, I see this as setting a bad precedent and I think this can put the entire protocol’s existence at risk.

Earlier, during the discussion of GIP-62, I already expressed my point of view. In order not to repeat myself, I will highlight the main points.

  1. People (or a department) are needed to monitor the current status of borrowers and be responsible for communications with them.
  2. Legal prosecution of unscrupulous borrowers and sources of financing legal expenses are necessary.
  3. Use of GFI at all times is unacceptable. If necessary, the pool covering the losses of the bakers should be formed at the expense of GFI once and then be formed from other sources.
  4. It is necessary to determine sources of financing (1), (2), (3).
  5. It is necessary to determine the size of the pool, the share of losses covered and other parameters.

To a large extent, all this is reflected in [GIP-63]. Therefore, I cannot say unequivocally “no”. Rather, I hesitate between choosing “YES” and “NO”.

I voted “against”

  1. the mechanism for implementing the sale of tokens is unclear. If you don’t have an OTС buyer, who will handle the sale and at what price?
  2. it is not clear why this particular value of GFI for sale was chosen. where is at least some mathematical justification? why not 1 million tokens or 10 million?
  3. a limit of 50 percent per borrower if there is Almavest with many pools - why? like other restrictions - what are they based on?
  4. at the moment Backers receive 39% per annum compared to 8% in the Senior pool. at the same time, you offer to make payments according to the lost capital. Where is there any risk left for Backers compared to the Senior pool? To understand the unfairness of the proposal, let’s imagine the extreme case that we have a 100 percent default on all debts: why will Backers receive much more benefits from using the protocol?

I support the idea of compensating losses through treasuries, but I will only vote for understandable mechanisms, both from a theoretical point of view (reasonable restrictions) and from a practical point of view (who sells tokens, when and to whom)