The History of Patrick Byrne’s Sith Lord

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If you like to read about delusional rantings and paranoid conspiracy theories, you can’t help but follow full-time message board poster Patrick Byrne. He moonlights as the CEO of failing online retailer Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK), but his real purpose in life is uncovering conspiracies.

The funny thing is that if Byrne was a little more lucid, someone might listen to him. Is there corruption on Wall Street? Of course. Is it the grand conspiracy by which financial reporters take their orders from hedge fund managers and write whatever will make the hedgies billions of dollars? I doubt it. But that’s Byrne’s theory. Continue reading

The SEC Investigation of Overstock Was Because Patrick Byrne is Trying to Expose Corruption on Wall Street?

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That appears to be what Patrick Byrne is suggesting in this interview. The story keeps changing. At one point, Patrick said he and Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) weren’t really the target of the SEC investigation. Rather, the investigation was focused on others (hence the “celebration” of subpoenas). When the SEC issued a no-action letter, suddenly the investigation really was about Overstock and Patrick, and they were vindicated (according to their supporters).

Byrne blathers and I paraphrase…. Continue reading

Short Selling, Miscreants Ball, and Conspiracies… OH MY!

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On August 12, 2005, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) had a conference call he said was going to give information about the “August 11 lawsuit.”

The transcript is 17 glorious pages of Byrne rambling about his conspiracy theories. No questions. Just Byrne and conspiracy theories. I read it on Thursday. And I didn’t really know what to do with it. Do I try to summarize all the nonsense? Then what?

Fortunately, a poster on a stock message board has saved me the trouble. Here’s what he calls the Reader’s Digest version of the transcript. If you’re normal, you will get less than 1/4 through it and swear that this person is lying. The transcript of this public conference call sponsored by Overstock.com couldn’t possibly have happened this way. Oh yes, it could. Read the transcript for yourself! Continue reading

Patrick Byrne & Co. Up to Dirty Message Board Tricks Again

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I occasionally take a peek at stock message boards like the Investor Village Overstock.com board when I need a bit of entertainment. It’s especially interesting when the poster “Hannibal” makes statements about the financials and operations of Overstock.com and makes no disclosure that he is, in fact, Patrick Byrne the CEO of Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK).

Patrick and his little friends have a history of using dirty tricks to try to gather information on the people who dare to say anything negative about Overstock. Paid cyberstalker Judd Bagley is known for secretly embedding code into messages he posts on message boards, with the intent of harvesting information about the IP addresses of those who read and respond to his messages. Continue reading

Preserving Some Overstock.com History Again

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Patrick Byrne, Sith LordFrom time-to-time, I like to cut and paste from the ever-entertaining stock message boards about Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK). I admit to being a casual observer. I don’t post on those message boards, but do read on occasion. And this exchange was too good to ignore. Plus I like to have the opportunity to read some of my favorite postings again without having to search the boards… they’re right here at my fingertips.

This message was posted last night on Investor Village. CEO Patrick Byrne likes to post on message boards as “Hannibal,” discussing Overstock issues while not disclosing his true identity. While regular readers of these boards likely know it’s Patrick, many others probably don’t. Do you think Patrick ought to provide full disclosure with each of his messages? I do.

Here’s what “Hannibal” had to say: Continue reading

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

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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: Continue reading

Perspectives on the SEC’s No Action Letter to Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK)

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The discussion of the Securities & Exchange Commission’s “no action” letter to Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) continues around the blogosphere.

On the one side we have the supporters of the company and wacky CEO Patrick Byrne (whos says “yipikaye” in response to the situation), who see this as a complete vindication of the company. They believe this means the SEC is blessing everything Overstock does, and giving the company its stamp of approval. They claim a no action letter is equivalent to the SEC finding “nothing wrong” with Overstock’s accounting and disclosures.

On the other side we have those who think the company’s financials and disclosures stink, and that Patrick Byrne and his executives are actively misleading investors. Those on this side acknowledge that the SEC’s no action letter is disappointing, but realize that it doesn’t mean there couldn’t be future action. Continue reading

About the SEC “sprinkling holy water” on Overstock.com

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Wacky Patty ByrneLast week in the Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) earnings conference call, the company’s executives had the following to say about the SEC’s investigation of the company:

Patrick Byrne

So, is it fair to say that all these other issues that the knuckleheads keep on raising as issues, the SEC examiners, looked at and sprinkled holy water on?

David Chidester

Yeah, I mean they took a deep dive they do that every three years or so. And again they are very good to work with. It is not adversarial at all and we’ve got all the issues resolved and it’s nice to know that we could move forward.

Those statements by Patrick Byrne and David Chidester were a big no-no, for two main reasons. Continue reading

Patrick Byrne’s delusions

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More delusional talk from Patrick Byrne, CEO of POS Overstock.com. From Herb Greenberg at Marketwatch:

Speaking on the Fox Business Channel today to my friend Liz Claman, [Byrne] said:

“I think that there’s been an unhealthy collusion developed between certain short sellers and certain journalists. They center around your competitor, CNBC. I happen to know for a fact that there’s a fax machine in the CNBC offices where hedge funds send instructions and journalists sit around and take instructions.”

Liz quickly responded:

“Well I worked in CNBC and I never saw that fax machine.”

Of course she didn’t, because there is no such fax machine!

Why, oh why does Herb have to leave journalism? And why don’t I get those special faxes from the Sith Lord???

Manipulation of Earnings in Overstock.com Press Release (Are You Surprised?)

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Overstock Patrick BryneToday convicted felon Sam Antar has an exciting piece on his blog about Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) and how it fudged its earnings figures in Friday’s press release, caused a short squeeze right before options expired, and continued on Patrick Byrne’s path of misleading investors.

It all began with a press release reporting 2008 earnings, saying that total revenue was $200.7 million versus $157.9 million for the same period in 2007, which was a 27% increase.

Of course, those figures were not on the up-and-up. *gasp*

The comparison of the revenue figures was faulty because 2008 figures were calculated on a GAAP basis, while 2007 figures were on a non-GAAP basis. The 2008 figures included revenue that would have been part of 2007 using Overstock’s non-GAAP reporting methodology. (So 2008 figures were bumped up, when compared to 2007 figures.) Continue reading