16 Jun

Thousands of Victims of Naked Short Selling, But I’m Not Naming Names!

I’m not an expert on Naked Short Selling. Frankly, I’ve just never really been interested in the topic. Does it appear to exist? Yes. Does it appear to be the reason Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) is doing so poorly and its stock is far below where it was a few years ago? No. I’ve seen no proof of that.

But so long as Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne dons his tinfoil hat and raves about the big conspiracy, there is hope for his company!

An interview with Byrne by The Wall Street Transcript was posted on Seeking Alpha, and it says in part:

TWST: And now it’s back down to $26. You’ve had sort of a campaign against naked short selling. Did that affect what you were doing?

Mr. Byrne: I’ve tried to do everything I could to separate Overstock.com from the naked short selling campaign. Here’s the issue. There has been a myth for over a decade in the markets that there is a way that hedge funds have been serial killers of small companies for profit. I always ignored this myth until somebody got in touch with me and started telling me about it, and then made some predictions that came true. I eventually said I would look into it, and I eventually become convinced this is true.

There are hundreds, maybe 1,000 or more companies that have been destroyed by hedge funds using an illegal technique. It’s a perfect crime because nobody even sees there is a crime. A typical citizen just sees that her stock portfolio goes down, and she doesn’t understand that behind the scenes the game has been rigged. So I got involved.

To me there’s been a cover-up. The cover-up has been people saying “this guy is just mad that the stock price went down.” But I have been talking about this issue when our stock was going up, when it was going down, when it was going sideways, and now it has tripled in the last month or two, and I am still talking about it. It’s because the issue really isn’t about Overstock, the issue is that we have this enormous problem in our capital markets which somebody needs to address, and, yes, it has affected Overstock, but to me, the way that people have been adamant about trying to spin this off as an Overstock issue — “oh, this guy should just focus on Overstock” — they are missing the point quite deliberately, it seems to me.

So exactly who are these hundreds, or maybe 1,000 or more companies who have been victims of Naked Short Selling?

Can any of the NSS crusaders name even one and support their allegations with real proof?

There is supposedly this vast conspiracy of hedge funds to carry out this Naked Short Selling, yet no one can come up with any real proof of it? No one can prove that even one company was destroyed because of NSS?

Sorry kiddos, you’ve done nothing to convince me. All you’ve done is stalk and terrorize people. You’ve smeared journalists. You’ve raved about conspiracies and Sith Lords and secret fax machines. You’ve come forward with no actual proof.

….waiting with bated breath to see any actual evidence of such…

One thought on “Thousands of Victims of Naked Short Selling, But I’m Not Naming Names!

  1. Bloomberg took a crack at it, both in the magazine and on TV. I think their lead example in the magazine version was Movie Gallery. I’ve heard about the TV special they did, but since I haven’t watched it I don’t know which companies it emphasized.

    Skeptics could suggest, ever so gently, that MOVI’s problem was really with Netflix and how NFLX took away both customers and the pricing power for MOVI and BBI to impose late fees on renters who brought back movies slower than promised. The irony is that Netflix itself is often naked-shorted, or at least appears on the so-called Regulation SHO list, and yet its stock has quadrupled since its IPO as profits rise. Oh yes, profits.

    And 60 Minutes, of course, suggested Biovail.

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