The Sith Lord Rears His Ugly Head Again

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The Sith Lord lives on, according to Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne. I am thankful that we have Wacky Patty to look out for the interests of investors. He gave a speech March 3rd at the University of Utah, and the school newspaper wrote about his comments.

And who would have guessed that Byrne was going on and on about conspiracy theories? Again, he’s talking about naked short selling. And of course, naked short selling is the reason Overstock’s financial performance stinks and the stock is such a bad investment.

As usual, there is a conspiracy between journalists and hedge funds to screw investors. And now organized crime is involved, and Byrne laughably is quoted as saying:

“About 15 months ago I was invited by a stranger into a greasy bar in Long Island. We have a message from Russia. We are about to kill you. We are about to kill if you if don’t back down.”

And Byrne can’t go but a few minutes without smearing Gary Weiss, a frequent critic of Overstock and its unusual financial statements. The student newspaper reports:

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Additionally, Byrne remarked on how his business partner, Mark Mitchell, was assaulted in New York and told to stay away from author Gary Weiss, a critic of Byrne’s theory on “naked short selling.” Weiss published the book Born to Steal, which is about the Mafia’s infiltration of Wall Street since the 1990s.

UPDATE: The newspaper has now changed the above paragraph to this:

Additionally, Byrne remarked on how writer Mark Mitchell was threatened in New York and told to stay away from “the Irish guy,” which Byrne believes was himself.

“I’ve been looking at this for two years, and I’m pretty much convinced this is the single biggest scandal in the history of American journalism,” said Mitchell, a former financial writer for Time magazine.

Gary Weiss has some interesting things on his blog about this “business partner” Mark Mitchell, including:

What I did find interesting was his reference to a fellow named Mark Mitchell as his “business partner.” That name may not mean much to you, but Mitchell is the former editor of [Columbia Journalism Review] Daily’s “Audit” feature on the financial press.

While there, Mitchell worked for many months on a CJR feature concerning Byrne’s nutty allegations against journalists, chiefly Herb Greenberg of Marketwatch.com. He interviewed myself and others extensively, and his open pro-Byrne was obvious. The article never ran, and Mitchell departed as the Audit’s editor. I and others were critical of the Audit while it was run by Mitchell (see blog items tagged “CJR Daily.”)

Gary goes on to explain that Mitchell was later saying he was writing for “a publication.” Mitchell wouldn’t reveal the name, but the statements by Byrne suggest that the “publication” was really Byrne. Although “business partner” probably doesn’t accurately describe their relationship… Mitchell was probably just helping Byrne with his conspiracy theories.

So the smoke and mirrors continue. Anything to deflect attention away from the fact that Overstock has never turned a profit and isn’t likely to anytime in the future. So Byrne just carries on, wasting the money of the shareholders.

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