Author Topic: More gaming of the system?  (Read 17124 times)

mo

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2013, 12:54:19 PM »
I don't know.  The abuse here is abusing the shopping cart lockup, not abusing screen scraping. 

If they are doing it consistently everyday at exactly that time it is probably both but sure it could just be someone with a quick mouse finger.

I highly doubt "big money" is using some freebie 3rd party library and it's also unlikely they are using some toy scripting language.

Half the Internet runs on Python I'm not sure it qualifies as a "toy" language.  It's probably an individual with a large account but not an institutional investor.  LendingClubs site isn't the NYSE it's dog slow I doubt we are at the point where shaving milliseconds matters yet.

Randawl

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2013, 01:04:29 PM »
A minimum waiting period for large investors would be even better.

I have an idea.  In order to satisfy the institutional investors, why doesn't LC reserve a certain percentage of loans and make them non-fractional.  This way, the whales will have no interference from the retail crowd and will be able to fully buy the entire loan.  They should call it the "Whole Loan Program."  This way, the retail investors will have plenty of fractional loans in which to choose. 

Oh wait. . .

See the problem here?

I and others have been saying for months to a year now that there needs to be some form of restriction implemented for the fractional pool.  Whether it is a time limit before multi-thousand dollar fractions can be purchased or a blanket dollar limit on fractions, something needs to be done.  This, of course, is from a retail investors point of view and LC has virtually zero incentive, except perhaps good will and PR, to make a change of this nature.

Something like this would only be a band-aid though.  Hypothetically if LC puts a $100 restriction on loan fractions, that still only leaves a loan that can be fully invested by 350 or fewer investors.  That too becomes futile as this asset class continues to grow.  Then it becomes wise to use a round robin system of sorts where investors pick x amount of loans and if there are more investors than possible fractions, a randomized system leaves the investor with x-y notes for their purchases of the day.  Zopa and Isepankur use a similar system.

core

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2013, 01:14:40 PM »
If they are doing it consistently everyday at exactly that time it is probably both but sure it could just be someone with a quick mouse finger.

Oh it's definitely a bot, I was just saying the actual abuse is locking up notes en masse, not the fact that they were utilizing screen scraping.  ToS aside.  I mean what's next, ban everyone who uses screen scraping to check their NAR once a day?  If someone's doing something naughty, then ban/fix the naughty stuff, don't look for some other excuse to ban "Them" while allowing your friends to continue that behaviour.

Maybe LC simply doesn't know this is going on.  If this issue was brought up they may come up with a quick solution.  One that doesn't involve a witch hunt trying to figure out who is using screen scraping bots.  Which, I might add, is impossible.


mo

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2013, 01:18:00 PM »
I don't know.  The abuse here is abusing the shopping cart lockup, not abusing screen scraping. 

If they are doing it consistently everyday at exactly that time it is probably both but sure it could just be someone with a quick mouse finger.

    So I just gave it a try by hand...  It was fairly effective I got a look at a bunch of D grade loans I wouldn't have had a chance at otherwise.  It was kind of a pain by hand though because you don't have any filtering once you get to the review order page which is the only place you can actually delete an order from... ...I bet you could write a GreaseMonkey script to at a delete button to the filter page though.  The possibilities, this is certainly intriguing.

mo

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2013, 01:25:26 PM »
Oh it's definitely a bot, I was just saying the actual abuse is locking up notes en masse, not the fact that they were utilizing screen scraping.  ToS aside.  I mean what's next, ban everyone who uses screen scraping to check their NAR once a day?

    Right the reason I mention the screen scraping is because you can't do a lockup through the real API and there are parts of the website that have CAPTCHA's ie: "Account Activity" which are clearly to stop page scrape bots so it stands to reason lending club might view it as an abuse.  Who knows though.

Rob L

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2013, 01:34:20 PM »
I put $25 portions of loans straight from my LC filter into the basket and they stay there for a reasonable amount of time.  Then I add more from other sites' access functions.  At the end, the ones that went directly from LC to the basket are still there.  I do not want that convenience to go away! 

If there is an abuse problem that needs to be solved I hope the remedy won't be worse than the "disease"!

I don't understand this. Please describe what the "add more from other sites' access functions" means?

Sorry to be unclear.  I meant clicking on "Invest" manually on either IR or PeerCube on their respective filtered results page. Sometimes I click Invest for the same loan twice, unintentionally because it's in a couple of filters, and then I have to remember to decrease the $50 to $25.  Practice has made me better at that than I was, lol.

Core, I could live with any dollar limit for the cart that would buy a few seconds of time.  However, minutes are better.
A minimum waiting period for large investors would be even better.
Thank you for clarifying. The dollar limit would keep things as they are for you now, but make use of the "free time option" shopping cart much more difficult to be used by large investors to gain yet another advantage.

GS

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2013, 01:41:31 PM »
I don't know.  The abuse here is abusing the shopping cart lockup, not abusing screen scraping. 

If they are doing it consistently everyday at exactly that time it is probably both but sure it could just be someone with a quick mouse finger.

    So I just gave it a try by hand...  It was fairly effective I got a look at a bunch of D grade loans I wouldn't have had a chance at otherwise.  It was kind of a pain by hand though because you don't have any filtering once you get to the review order page which is the only place you can actually delete an order from... ...I bet you could write a GreaseMonkey script to at a delete button to the filter page though.  The possibilities, this is certainly intriguing.

I also did it by hand at the 1:00PM posting, and was able to reserve a few new notes in my filter, then I released the ones I did not want.  Interesting, though, two of the notes said "closing" when I clicked "Add", but when I released them they were only 80% funded.  If you can't beat them ...

yojoakak

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2013, 02:05:18 PM »
So if I was working there at LC, my fix would be to get rid of the lockup loophole altogether.  If the loan sells out while it's in your cart, so be it:  You can get a notification of that at the end.

That's how it works on Foliofn, but they have the added boneheadedness that when you hit Submit it doesn't go ahead and buy what's available, it comes back to tell you some of your notes aren't available, shows you the revised order, and you have to hit Submit again.

Sometimes you have to re-Submit your order 4 or 5 times as the notices get removed a few at a time, at which time you might end up with 1 or even none of the notes you originally put in your basket.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 02:10:59 PM by yojoakak »

Rob L

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2013, 02:10:48 PM »
It's Saturday for crying out loud. It doesn't seem reasonable or economical for a commercial scale investor to have a team of loan analysts sitting around manually adding value to loan selection in this way. Perhaps a single well funded individual. The required technical skills are well within the capabilities of quite a few on this forum (you know who you are). A Grease Monkey script would almost certainly do this well, or a Python script, or ... Actually I really hope LC does set a purchase limit on each loan bought via the web site because, as GS said, if you can't beat them ... This cat is out of the bag.

FWIW, I'm still not sure what we have seen to date isn't an artifact of the LC software in response to demand load spikes. When you see a loan removed, put back in only a minute, then removed again, then put back it makes me wonder.

As for notifying LC, I've seen posts in the past that lead me to believe they do keep up with what's being said here. Ask Dan B.

I've noticed something else, similar topic but different issue, and will be starting a new thread.

core

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2013, 02:40:09 PM »
This cat is out of the bag.

That it is!  If we're going to sit around publicly discussing ways to abuse the system, we should not all act astonished when a bunch of people start doing it.  Doh!   I honestly do not expect this to last all that long.  Not now.

As for notifying LC, I've seen posts in the past that lead me to believe they do keep up with what's being said here. Ask Dan B.

That story sounds interesting.  Do you have a link to the thread?  Or search terms?  Otherwise I'll have to read through ~200 of his posts to get filled in. :)   LC definitely has spies here but I doubt they bother to read every post with a vague subject.

Rob L

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2013, 02:49:49 PM »
Core, quite a while back I read in one of Peter's weekly review's about a discussion he had with someone rather high up in LC. Can't remember what was said, but the LC rep mentioned some comment made here by Dan B, and used Dan B's handle in the conversation. I do remember Dan B's response was one of surprise when he responded to Peters article.

Show Me The $

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2013, 02:57:02 PM »
Frankly, I put the rest of my initial 15k to work and likely wont be adding more. I t is too competitive and time consuming for me to spend trying to hold ground at  a game that I am powerless to win. Agree with the above, RIP LC et al. this will soon just be an institutional game like everything else and we get screwed, end of story.

yojoakak

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2013, 03:13:29 PM »
It's Saturday for crying out loud. It doesn't seem reasonable or economical for a commercial scale investor to have a team of loan analysts sitting around manually adding value to loan selection in this way...

What was it they used to (jokingly?) toss around the office back when I worked in NY...

Oh yeah: "If you don't come in on Saturday, don't bother coming in on Monday."
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 03:17:55 PM by yojoakak »

cfb

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2013, 03:16:00 PM »
I already learned a while ago to filter, add everything to my order, then plink out what I don't want.  Otherwise half the stuff sold out before I had a chance to add it to my order.

Not that many notes pass my filters, and I have plenty of cash sitting there as I can't invest enough of it fast enough.

Not sure I like the idea of having a note disappear out of my order before I could complete the order.  I'm having a hard time finding notes in the first place, about 1/3 don't issue, if the problem got worse I'd probably just sit on what I have and move along.

Amazon does this; you can put an item in your cart and it can be sold to someone else that's quicker on the 'complete order' button, and the price can even change between when you add an item to an order and when you check out.  Both of those things stink, and the sole beneficiary is amazon.  Clearly LC would rather do business with small numbers of professional large scale lenders than a bunch of individuals.  Less work, less hassle, less paperwork.

core

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Re: More gaming of the system?
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2013, 03:20:13 PM »
When these guys go public in a year or two, it will be a sham for them to claim this is P2P lending anymore.  They will probably try to market themselves as the "Facebooks of Banking" and we will all know it to be a flat out lie.

Funny that you should mention these two at once.  Already LendingClub is saying that they are NOT p2p lending.  This was in an interview several months ago.  I don't know if it was Frenchy (I forget his name) or someone else high ranking over there.  But in that same discussion he compared it to Facebook saying that Facebook isn't a social network anymore.

FWIW, I'm still not sure what we have seen to date isn't an artifact of the LC software in response to demand load spikes. When you see a loan removed, put back in only a minute, then removed again, then put back it makes me wonder.

I think I see where you're going with this.  As in perhaps an instance starts up and if you happen to hit that one you might be getting stale data.  Next reload you might hit another one.  I used to see all kinds of these "artifacts" in the Folio search results but not so much anymore.  Anything's possible I guess.