A great NY Times article sent in by Rob Foregger over the w/e. There is even a whiff of High Frequency Trading in there too with some hedge funds installing servers close to Lending Club and Prosper!
Now, as the industry matures, a new class of investors is storming the P2P gates, and they include the very institutions that P2P had set out to bypass. Today, big financial firms, not small investors, dominate lending on the two platforms. At Prosper, which has been courting institutional lenders over the past year, more than 80 percent of the loans issued in March went to those firms. More than a dozen investment funds have been formed with the sole purpose of investing in peer-to-peer loans.