Interesting question posed to Patrick Byrne of Overstock.com

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Sam Antar has uncovered some interesting information. I would love for Patrick Byrne, Overstock CEO to respond to Sam’s questions about this (and now the questions are mine too!).

Patrick is involved with an organization called National Coalition Against Naked Shorting (NCANS). Naked short selling, as defined by Wikipedia:

Short selling is the practice of borrowing stock, then selling it in hopes that the price will go down and it can be bought back at a lower price with shares to replace the borrowed ones. “Naked shorting” refers to short selling a stock for sale without first borrowing the shares or making an “affirmative determination” that the shares can be borrowed. The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a regulation, known as Reg SHO, seeking to curb abusive naked shorting.

On the NCANS message board, Patrick Byrne (aka Hannibal) posted the following :

Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:21 pm
Subject: Cry ‘Havoc!’ And let slip the dogs of war.

Dear TeamO:

ONCE AGAIN, DO NOT MAKE ANY STOCK PURCHASE DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT I AM EXPLAINING HERE. I JUST THINK IT IS TIME THAT PEOPLE OUTSIDE WALL STREET LEARN A BIT ABOUT HOW THEY PLAY THE GAME THERE.

Now the story gets really interesting. We came out swinging last week with a full page ad in The Washington Post, explaining this issue. It cost $100,000: I donated about $20k of that, and spent a lot of time working with O’Brien through email (as I have never met him yet), getting the ad just right. Meanwhile, he opened his ncans.net site, which explains all of this thoroughly.

In the last few days, The Empire Has Begun To Strike Back. That will be the subject of my next posting.

Patrick

Bold has been added by me.

Then on May 28, 2007, in a post on InvestorVillage.com, Patrick wrote the following under his Hannibal screen name:

How much was paid to the National Assn. Against Naked Shortselling?:
A COUPLE YEARS AGO I DONATED AROUND $75K TO NCANS (I ASSUME THAT IS WHAT YOU MEAN?) BUT BOBO USED THAT TO BUY AN AD IN THE WASHINGTON POST SO I DO NOT THINK OF THAT AS A “PAYMENT” TO BOBO.

Bold is again added by me.

So, Patrick…. how much was really given to NCANS for this Washington Post ad? And why does the amount change in your posts on message boards?

2 thoughts on “Interesting question posed to Patrick Byrne of Overstock.com

  1. Hi Tracy,

    “So, Patrick…. how much was really given to NCANS for this Washington Post ad? And why does the amount change in your posts on message boards?”

    Because I sent NCANS $22k, then about $25k a few weeks later, and then some time later, I think, another wire of around the same amount. I’m not sure if I did send a third. So in May when asked I rounded up and responded “75k”.

    Any more X-File type mysteries you need help solving?

    Patrick

  2. OLOCtheNitwit

    Yes Patrick, there are several mysteries that need solving.

    1) Is Judd Bagley the Motley Fool poster “TeachMeSomething”?

    2) Is Judd Bagley the Motley Fool poster “pbyrnepatriot”?

    3) Is it appropriate for Overstock.com employees to post anonymously on message boards, pumping the company’s position and posing as disinterested outsiders? Isn’t that precisely what you have repeatedly accused your adversaries of doing, on the negative side?

    4) Is it appropriate for you as head of Overstock.com to encourage and promote cyberstalking, intimidation, and outing of anonymous message board posters by one of your employees?

    5) Does your board of directors have any idea what corporate governance actually means?

    6) Will Overstock.com ever make money?

    Looking forward to your replies.

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