Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s attacks on financial journalists are false

March 11, 2009 by  

In 2004, with two wars raging, John Kerry entered his election battle with incumbent George W. Bush with one major advantage – he had served in Vietnam while Bush hadn’t. This advantage was shredded by a group called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” Following an all-out attack on Kerry’s service record, the waters were clearly muddied for the general public, and Kerry lost a close election to Bush. These “Swift Boaters” did what they set out to do, despite the fact that the L.A. Times editorial stated “Not limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: These charges against John Kerry are false.”

While lessons were learned from the embarrassing “Swift Boat” attack, most of them were negative. For Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne – who donated money to the original Swift Boaters – the lesson was simple – attack any perceived enemies. And for the last several years, financial journalists have assumed the Kerry role to Byrne’s Swift Boaters.

Byrne’s relentless hype about naked short-selling has combined the “Swift Boat” mentality with the mentality of conspiracy theorists, with most of it being played out over the Internet. Those that have been detractors against Byrne’s short-selling campaign have been attacked via the Internet, with said attacks normally going after the integrity of the reporters in question. But in the story of Patrick Byrne and Overstock.com, there is really but one truth – over the past decade, Overstock.com has performed miserably.

While Byrne’s crusade against naked short sellers may be an honest one, his tactics have been anything but. With murky cohorts like PR specialist Judd Bagley (who denies working for Byrne), and Bob O’Brien (a pseudonym), the Overstock.com attacks not only lack truth, but have been destructive to the journalists and bloggers that have been on the receiving end.

Even an incomplete look at the notable journalists Byrne and his team have smeared gives a good idea of this method. Gary Weiss, Bethany McLean, Jim Cramer, Herb Greenberg, Jesse Eisinger, Joe Nocera, and Carol Remond are but a few of the financial journalists who have been attacked by Byrne’s team. And while none of the attacks have shown merit, they have been effective on some levels.

“Byrne’s attacks have discouraged coverage of Byrne and Overstock. In fact, one of the people who wrote negatively about Byrne has vowed never to do so again for that reason,” said Weiss. “This is why such acts as he commits fall under the classification of ‘issuer retaliation,’ as they are designed to impede coverage of a publicly traded company. I’d say that the share price of Overstock is definitely artificially inflated by Byrne’s tactics.”


Weiss’s words ring true in that Byrne has continued his new media attacks despite the fact that they have been reported repeatedly in the media, both online and mainstream, with even the New York Times had a story on Byrne’s shenanigans as early as January 2007.

Sockpuppetry and New media attacks

It is no secret whatsoever that Byrne uses new media to attack and/or confront any that would question him (this reporter speaks from experience – a recent post regarding Overstock was immediately responded to by two of Byrne’s missionaries – Lenofus and Bagley).

And while Byne and Bagley will often confront online critics using their own names or corresponding user names, they also have often resorted to the practice of sock puppetry – impersonating a separate user in order to advance their cause. For instance, Bagley – writing under the user name “WordBomb” – has been marked by Wikipedia as having used 35 separate names at the site, including the clever “IPFrehley.”

For his part, Byrne has more or less admitted to posting anonymously on message boards.

Filmaker Dan Mirvish – part of the team that brought the Martin Eisenstadt Hoax to life – knows how easily Internet media can be manipulated and said he is aware that some corporate types have taken to the Internet to advance their causes, whether fair or foul.

“There is a trend of corporate types who hire people simply to scrub their online identities and use sockpuppetry and other means to burnish their reputations on Google and elsewhere,” said Mirvish. “When we were working on the Martin Eisenstadt project, we realized that the vulnerabilities in the blogosphere could easily be used for more nefarious purposes than what we were up to, which was essentially political satire.”

Regardless of whether the Overstock.com team is using sock puppets or writing under their own byline, however, one thing is clear – they have no tolerance whatsoever for critics. As Nocera wrote in his New York Times column: “It has always seemed to me that Mr. Byrne’s primary mission had less to do with the supposed evils of naked short sellers, and more to do with making life miserable for anyone who dared to criticize his company.”

Aside from the forum at Overstock.com and financial message boards throughout the Internet such as Yahoo, Byrne has used two separate Web sites to push his naked short-selling conspiracy and to convey the attacks on his critics – DeepCapture.com and AntiSocialMedia.net.

Since 2006, AntiSocialMedia.net and DeepCapture.com have featured literally hundreds of posts attacking critical journalists like Weiss, McLean, Greenberg, Nocera, and Jim Cramer among others. Bagley himself has threatened independent bloggers, and harassed journalists such as Weiss. The claims made by Byrne and Bagley have been denied by the journalists in question, to the point that many of them want nothing more to do with Byrne and Overstock.com.

The Conspiracy

As economic strategist Barry Ritholz said: “Blaming short sellers is an old and inartful dodge.” And while it can’t be completely cemented that Byrne is using his Naked Short-Selling campaign as a way to dodge blame for the poor performance of Overstock.com, it can not be denied that – purposefully or not – he has used tried and true conspiracy theory methods to advance his cause.

Starting with Mark Mitchell’s 40,000-word manifesto that attempts to sledgehammer readers into believing that that naked short-selling and dangerous characters are destroying the world’s economy, the Overstock.com Naked Short-selling conspiracy is one that would make such 9/11 Truthers as Alex Jones squeal with delight. It is, quite simply, a textbook example of how to build and defend a conspiracy theory.

With “The Story of Deep Capture,” Mitchell – formerly an editor with the Columbia Journalism Review – has produced an epic of the Conspiracy genre. Unsubstantiated facts are combined with ad-hominens helping it to line up perfectly with normal conspiracy rhetoric. Mitchell does little more than give flourish to a nearly endless list of attacks and rumors, hoping that the barrage of words will convince others of their truth. And as with many publicized theories such as this, some followers have emerged, giving Byrne a new attack brigade.

Attacking critics also plays a prominent role in conspiracy theories. For instance, when Popular Mechanics published a full issue debunking 9/11 myths, the retort from 9/11 Truthers was fast and simple – Popular Mechanics was in on it, too. With the Naked Short-selling brigade, the same attack is used – if a financial journalist writes critically of Byrne and Overstock.com, they must be involved in the conspiracy against them.

Whatever Byrne’s or Bagley’s opinion of whether or not they are advancing a conspiracy theory, one point must be clear – they are clearly using the same tactics as 9/11 Truthers, Moon-Landing Hoaxers, and other conspiracy theorists

The Results

With the economy in free fall, Byrne has been given credit by some for foreseeing the economic turmoil. This is a small minority, however. Still, that hasn’t hurt Byrne’s case, as recently he and his Naked Short-Selling story have been quoted as truth by left-wing bloggers from Daily Kos and Crooks & Liars.

The situation is thus: At CNBC, Cramer and others have been vociferous critics of President Barack Obama’s economic plans. With many Progressive thinkers believing that CNBC is actively supporting corporations while fighting Obama’s economic plans (with CNBC garnering huge ratings along the way), The Story of Deep Capture has been given new life and a conspiracy theory is advanced.

From TocqueDeville at DailyKos:

This rabbit hole involves the thugs surrounding Jim Cramer and some of the top financial “journalists” from the New York Times, WSJ, Fortune magazine and BusinessWeek, top hedge funds, the Mafia, and the DTCC. It also includes “blackmail, smear campaigns, espionage, fraud, harassment, extortion, bribery, rumor-mongering, sabotage, off-shore money laundering, political cronyism, frivolous lawsuits, witness tampering, biased financial research, false identities, bogus credit ratings, bribery, libelous blogs, bad science, forgery, wiretapping, counterfeiting, collusion, lying, cheating, threats and theft.”

As with most blogs that cater to a specific ideology, the posts at DailyKos and Crooks & Liars and other left-of-center sites have been met with little or no skepticism. Deep Capture may be a fantastic and unbelievable yarn, but in this case it benefits the point being made – Jim Cramer is a nefarious character. Just look at Deep Capture.

In the end, one fact outshines them all: Since Byrne has taken over as Overstock.com’s CEO, the company’s stock has fallen from $70 to less than $9 today . The main reason for this, according to Byrne is that Overstock.com has been crippled by naked short sellers, and he will gladly destroy the reputations of any journalists that take issue with this reasoning. But the simple fact is that respected economists strongly disagree.

While blaming short sellers may be considered a dodge, so is blaming the messenger. And despite any howls of outrage from Byrne or his camp, his attacks on financial journalists have been nothing short of vindictive. In regard to his attacks on financial journalists, let it be said that not being limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: Byrne’s charges are false.

More reading:

The Naked Untruth: CEO’s Devious Blog Hoodwinks DailyKos

The Truth Squad: An attempt to do something about the bad weather in journalism

Wow! Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is an unethical freak

The Story of Deep Capture

Overstock.com: Patrick Byrne’s Private War Against Naked Short-Sellers

Phantom Menace

A CEO’s extraordinary campaign against short-sellers

Overstock.com’s CEO is ‘perhaps’ an ogre

Conspiracy Watch: The Wisest Guys in the Room

Graphics designed by Melissa McEwan

–WKW

Comments

40 Responses to “Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s attacks on financial journalists are false”

  1. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » The Truth Squad - an attempt to do something about the bad weather in journalism on March 11th, 2009 6:47 am

    [...] William K. Wolfrum Chronicles Bill Wolfrum’s world of satire and commentary « Next up: Drug-testing the unemployed Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s attacks on financial journalists are false » [...]

  2. lenfus on March 11th, 2009 8:11 am

    How dare you write such horrid things about this fine man!
    There are many things WE are not at liberty to tell you. But, miscreants: be it known that your day is fast approaching. We might all be living under a bridge somewhere as a result of the war that is being waged on our financial system, but as a result of that war, there will be a lot of famous names in some prison, somewhere soon. In my heart of hearts, I envision the good Dr. Patrick Michael Byrne leading us to that prison and allowing us to take out our frustrations and desires for justice on these un-forgiven captives. All I want is to be a part of it in some small way. We’ll see, won’t we???? I can wait. I have been shown information that you and your friends are never going to be qualified to see or allowed to alter with your inside players. I know what is in store for the evil scum that are bent on ruining our world. We have a little something for you boys. Be ready for us.

    Obama is an empty suit. That’s pretty obvious. Just ask yourself why they had Stanford employees inside of FINRA. Yeah, inside. See, we knew that, you didn’t. But we did. You may have won some battles, but we will win this war. In fact, that information on Stanford we had was minor in comparison to what is about to break. Stanford isn’t anything we didn’t know about before. At least now, you’ve heard. Again, we are very lucky we have a leader in front of us on the magnitude of Patrick Byrne. In the end, I think we win. Not everybody will be so lucky. That’s why you have to join us now. We will not pluck you from the fires when the end days come. You have to be with us today to be among the chosen few tomorrow.

    You may wonder why there are many things I am not at liberty to tell you. I’m just trying to imagine the hedge fund boys and trading desk managers who read these posts squirming in their seats and fearing our information. You need to be afraid. We have you. We won. You can rest assured that a judgment day is fast approaching. I hope that’s enough to ruin your day as you have ruined so many of mine.

    Folks, I can do my own ranting. I really don’t need to have some pieced, tattooed schmuck working out of a broom closet, trying to work his way up the scum-0-meter.

    Now, please, if you won’t me to go ballistic on people who ruin many lives, threaten others, just call, or write. I am more than willing to chip in and continue to do my part.

    Thank you. Long live Dr. Patrick Michael Byrne. American hero and servant of men all across the USA!

  3. Falconer on March 11th, 2009 8:16 am

    Oh God, I feel so dumb now.

    I came to Deep Capture by way of C&L and I decided then that I should wait for confirmation, but the website seemed largely legit to me.

    I didn’t know Byrne was behind it!

    Crud.

    I hope this does not damage the credibility of C&L or DKos, on the whole, but I’m worried now.

  4. James R. Brownfield on March 11th, 2009 8:19 am

    I don’t think that the “lenofus” who commented on your previous story about Skippy Byrne was the real “lenofus”. The real “lenofus” is a penny-stock touting goofball who, in a weak moment, wrote a message on some stock board expressing admiration for Skippy that bordered on the homoerotic.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    But the real “lenofus” is even more entertaining than the “fake” lenofus who occasionally shows up on blogs and message boards that discuss Skippy’s mismanagement of the great Overstock.com empire.

    Just keep him away from any small pets you may have.

  5. sophia on March 11th, 2009 9:04 am

    i must congratulate the author of this article – he managed to write thousands of words and say absolutely NOTHING. i mean, there is not a single contradiction of deep capture’s reporting or patrick byrne’s allegation. what a waste of time. and, seriously, linking your supposed theory to things that do not have anything to do with that (what’s up with ‘supporting’ your writing with links to wikipedia and conspiracy websites? either you are a doorknob or you think your readers are). anyways, thanks for this one, i will use it as an example.

  6. Dale on March 11th, 2009 9:37 am

    FYI, Bob O’Brien is a perp named Saunders!

    Bob O’Brien is Phil Saunders, that we know. But is he also Darren Saunders , producer of the video “Where’s my Stock”

  7. Dale on March 11th, 2009 9:40 am

    Lenny, your Psychiatrist is calling. You left your straight-jacket behind!!

  8. Philosifur on March 11th, 2009 10:14 am

    Lenofus’ demented threat is consistent with another threat posted by Bryne, on his favorite message board, shortly after the recent Lee Webb blog piece:

    “PS I’ll give the Miscreants a hint, just to keep it interesting. You understand that we are inside your OODA-loop by now, right? You know that I don’t know everything about you, but you know that I know some things about you. Based on what you know I know, what is my next move? There is a hint buried deeply in the past, in an interview where I mentioned a competitor. If you had picked up on it, you would not keep making a mistake that you are making. (Of course, this could just be a test of a different sort….)”

    It is very unfortunate indeed that, in some cases, Byrne and his “Black Ops” crew lead by employee Judd Bagley have been effective in their efforts to silence critics. And it is an embarrassing travesty that the SEC has refused to move against Overstock, it’s Board, and it’s Chairman.

  9. Ray on March 11th, 2009 1:36 pm

    Looks like two issues here but only one discussed critically. 1. Overstock performance/B. 2. Naked Short Selling. Short selling and Naked Short Selling are vastly different creatures. One is legal and the other is not. Interesting that there is no discussion on that topic or even if it occurs or affects any company.

    Hope you look into it. Byrne and Overstock are like shooting fish in a barrel.

  10. Elliot Baker on March 11th, 2009 2:01 pm

    Impressive bunch of evidence. How long did that take you to do?

  11. lenofus on March 11th, 2009 2:23 pm

    You babies make me look like the Poster Boy for self control.

    You second rate peons should know, btw, that the DOJ is active on the case. You can mock me and berate my leaders. But, you will not go unchecked. I have made sure of that. I feel the length of any investigation would be in direct relation to their need for the top guy, and you can well imagine, it is someone of extreme wealth, power and influence!
    Hey, my people …. Tell these miscreants: Do I blow hot air, or do I do exactly what I say?
    I’m tired of being walked on. It’s time for us to do the stomping. Well, baby boys, do you like ORANGE? You messed with the wrong crowd. I bet that image in the mirror tough to look at, huh? You know, girls, I’m probably am wasting my breath. But I’ve made a few (more) calls today, because you morons continue to pizz me off.. Listen up, you lopeared ill mannered dips. It is illegal to slander. Got it? You have no proof I, or anyone else here is anything other then a group of like minded men who stand behind our fearless leader, Dr. Patrick Michael Byrne. Where are you when the call goes out? It’s 3am or 7pm on a Friday … do you answer? I do. I have. Are you on Elite Trader at 4am supporting this cause? I am and I will always pick up that call when it’s made. He knows I respond. I will not hide. You pukes and your handlers think you can hide. Well, get ready for us! We can break “anonomyzer”, the program that scrambles ISP’s. Got it? We know where you live. Got it? You have to have proof of any allegations you make. We don’t. We are your superiors and demand your obedience. Just think, for once in your life. Do what is right and lay down your mantle and look to our side for a little salvation.
    Sure, I called the Feds. I’m waiting on a identification item, but I remember a lot more then I tell. So, I always have more to give when I am asked to join in on the fun. If these idiot bashers just want attention, then for sure you sack of crap are going to get it.

  12. Philosifur on March 11th, 2009 2:41 pm

    Yet more threats. And it speaks for itself.

  13. Dale on March 11th, 2009 3:50 pm

    For all the Padtty Whacker’s ranting about NSS! One more scam bites the dust!!

    ——————————————–
    By Carol S. Remond
    OF DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit earlier this week upheld a decision by a district court to dismiss a complaint filed by a company claiming its stock price had been illegally depressed by a federally approved program designed to facilitate the clearing and settlement of securities in the U.S.

    Pet Quarters Inc. (PDEN) alleged in a complaint filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas that Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.’s stock-borrow program resulted in the creation of nonexistent or phantom stock and contributed to the illegal short selling of the company’s shares.

    DTCC manages the clearing and settlement of most securities in the U.S. The stock-borrow program allows DTCC to lend shares from one brokerage firm to the other in the event a firm is unable to deliver stock to settle a transaction on time. The program is approved by the SEC.

    A federal judge in 2008 ruled that the complaint filed by Pet Quarters was pre-empted by federal law and granted DTCC’s motion to dismiss with prejudice.

    Pet Quarters, an Arkansas corporation that at one point sold pet supplies online, appealed the ruling, claiming that the district court shouldn’t have dismissed its complaint. The company asked for a reversal or at least to be allowed to file an amended complaint.

    The Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled against Pet Quarters.
    “In short, all the damages that Pet Quarters claims to have suffered stem from activities performed or statements made by the defendants in conformity with the program’s Commission approved rules,” the court said in its opinion. “We conclude that the district court did not err in dismissing the complaint on the basis of preemption.”

    The court also ruled that because Pet Quarters never submitted a proposed amended complaint or indicate what one might have contained, “the district court did not err or abuse its discretion in concluding that amendment would be futile and in dismissing with prejudice.”

    Pet Quarters’ complaint was almost identical to suits brought by Whistler Investments Inc. and Nanopierce Technologies Inc., which also challenged DTCC’s stock-borrow program. Those suits were also dismissed.
    Short sellers typically borrow shares to sell them short and profit when prices drop.

    Pet Quarters sued DTCC in Arkansas state court in 2004. The case was later remanded to federal court.
    —————————————————————-

  14. Dale on March 11th, 2009 4:33 pm

    Sweet Jesus, Lenny. How CAN YOU be so f’n stupid, moron??

    Hey, my people …. Tell these miscreants: Do I blow hot air, or do I do exactly what I say?

    Your people? LOL, your people are mentally unbalanced street people. And what you blow is Patty! Maybe that explains his sexual-oriented rants and identity issues?

    Well, baby boys, do you like ORANGE? You messed with the wrong crowd.

    Yeah. Nobody would want to mess with the likes of you Whackers! Your crowd is insane and unwashed. Total disgusting Wack Pack!!

    But I’ve made a few (more) calls today, because you morons continue to pizz me off.. Listen up, you lopeared ill mannered dips. It is illegal to slander. Got it?

    No, didn’t get it, Lenny. And when you make threats, you should know what you are talking about. Insane blathering DOES NOT count, moron. For example, slander is spoken!! Do you mean libel? Or is it liable too you’se looser maroons? Too funny…

    You have no proof I, or anyone else here is anything other then a group of like minded men who stand behind our fearless leader, Dr. Patrick Michael Byrne.

    I can’t even begin to count the number of lies in that silly, child-like statement. Endless…

    Where are you when the call goes out? It’s 3am or 7pm on a Friday … do you answer? I do. I have.

    Well, I am guessing yoiu are with Hillary in the White House for those “speshals fones calls” in the middle of the night from Commie Dictators, Bill’s girlfriends and DC Pizza delivery guys!!

    Are you on Elite Trader at 4am supporting this cause?

    Yes. Actually, Lenny, I outrank you. A am a Super Elite Trader (1st Degree)! And I do it at 5am. More better than you, sparky!

    You pukes and your handlers think you can hide. Well, get ready for us! We can break “anonomyzer”, the program that scrambles ISP’s. Got it?

    lol. The only thing you morons can break is your mommy’s cheap china!! Pssst, lenny! It DOES NOT “scramble” ISP’s, you big dope. It spoofs IPs. (Hey, are you for real?)

    We know where you live. Got it?

    Oh my? You do? You’se perty speshal, Lenny! Oh, BTW, WHERE DO I LIVE?? Hint: It is not where you think, because I moved last year and ain’t here now! I think!

    You have to have proof of any allegations you make. We don’t.

    Well of course you don’t! You are so very special. Riding the Special Bus must have been fun. I hope your drool bib was not uncomfortable?

    We are your superiors and demand your obedience.

    Uhh, oh yeah, I forgot. LOL! Lenny you are superior to Pond Scum, broken rocks, and dead frogs. little else!

    Sure, I called the Feds. I’m waiting on a identification item, but I remember a lot more then I tell.

    I’m shocked you even remember your name as moronic and silly as you are, Lenny. (Hmmm, are you that idiot Darren Saunders on the childish Money 101 Blog. You talk stupid like him!)

    Say, how’se dem Speshal Sekrats you can’ts tells us abouts doing? Does ya need a Decoder Ring or is it all in your one brain cell??

    Lenny, seek intervention.

  15. dgun on March 11th, 2009 4:55 pm

    the company’s stock has fallen from $70 to less than $9 today

    Overstock stock is worth $9? lol. That’s about $8.75 too much.

    Again, I just don’t understand the purpose of Overstock.com. Their selection sucks, their prices are high, their marketing blows…

    And the idea that there are “fans” of some CEO of some stupid internet company running around the ol’ interwebs defending him on blogs and forums is bizarre. Surely, no one is quite that pathetic. And surely, no one is stupid enough to believe that people of at least average intelligence would buy it.

  16. dgunFAN on March 11th, 2009 4:57 pm

    dgun is right! dgun is so awesome! I love me some dgun! dgun FTW lolz!

  17. William K. Wolfrum on March 11th, 2009 5:49 pm

    dgunFAN is absolutely correct. As always.

  18. Dale on March 11th, 2009 5:51 pm

    HUH?

  19. Bob on March 12th, 2009 6:12 am

    So this is where all the InterWebs Tubes Crazies have been for the last few hours. Geesh.

    Excellent piece, Bill

  20. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » No one expects a blogaround - Let’s go Galt Edition II on March 12th, 2009 6:58 am

    [...] DailyKos: More on Patrick Byrne. [...]

  21. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » No one expects a blogaround - Let’s go Galt Edition II on March 12th, 2009 6:58 am

    [...] DailyKos: More on Patrick Byrne. [...]

  22. Diane Tucker on March 12th, 2009 12:26 pm

    Ha! Dgun nailed it: “The idea that there are “fans” of some CEO of some stupid internet company running around the ol’ interwebs defending him on blogs and forums is bizarre.”

    Even Warren Buffet doesn’t have fans like that. And this Byrne guy is no Buffet.

  23. blah on March 12th, 2009 2:22 pm

    Excellent pots, both of you.

    Diane, there are several reasons you have fans running around defending a well-born millionaire’s wacky crusade. The first is that Americans love a conspiracy, and Byrne has got a whopper. The second is that people, even educated ones, are complete dolts when it comes to finance. The third is a general disdain for the media and particularly the financial press. But insofar as your Huffington Post item is concerned, I noticed that Byrne’s most outspoken defenders were two new user IDs, both of which created for the occasion. In other words, Judd Bagley.

  24. Dulcinea Jones on March 13th, 2009 5:55 pm

    Diane’s blog is being overrun by Byrne’s hirelings, which you can tell by being just-created screen names that insist that she “read Deep Capture.”

    She’s reacting by being reasonable, which is being interpreted as a sign of weakness and is just inflaming the situation further. I don’t mean to be critical, but engaging with these wackos is not the solution, even though I did it myself on her blog.

    This happens whenever a blogger takes on Byrne or Bagley, so I hope that she realizes this tactic for what it is. Herb Greenberg had to ban a bunch of people from his blog for the same reason. It’s as if they follow an instruction manual for cults.

  25. Steve on March 14th, 2009 1:05 am

    Sorry, but if I listened to the advise of financial journalist, I would be broke. Instead, I am up over 40% as of 14 Mar. 09. That is what happens when you become aware of naked shorting and the crap shoot that the market has become. Like a rat, all that is safe to do, is to nibble and quickly move on. In other words, day trade and don’t invest long term.
    I’ll use but one example of what I mean. Late last year, Porche, cornered the stock of VW and took control. When the dust settled and they looked at the books, they discovered a problem. It seemed that over 12 million additional shares had been added to the authorized 192 million shares. So, Porche learned that over 6% of the shares were naked shorted. This means that a number of primary U. S. brokers had to have knowingly traded millions of illegal shares in VW.
    Moral to the story: how could I even consider entrusting any long term investments to those who run the system? Unfortunately, they are exposed as crooks. Make all the accusations that you want of Patrick Byrnes but heed his warnings on naked shorting or you will find yourself damaged by what he fights against. If you proceed with the above mindset, then welcome to the fools game. How is your 401K?

  26. Dulcinea Jones on March 15th, 2009 7:33 am

    Different strokes for different folks. To me, day trading has about as much appeal as betting on the trotters at Yonkers Raceway.

  27. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » No one expects a blogaround - Bonus Edition VI on March 17th, 2009 9:28 am

    [...] In The Pines: Ok, what the hell is Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne doing commenting at this blog? [...]

  28. TheTradingReport » Blog Archive » Exposing the Overstock.com Swiftboat Campaign on March 23rd, 2009 5:43 am

    [...] William K. Wolfrum, who exposed the Martin Eisenstadt hoax–a widely quoted personage on Sarah Pailin who did not exist–produced a detailed post today on a subject known well to readers of this blog, which is the ongoing smear campaign of Overstock.com’s ethically-challenged CEO Patrick Byrne. [...]

  29. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » No one expects a blogaround - Patrick Byrne edition on March 25th, 2009 9:01 am

    [...] As far as being a prodigious writer on the Internet, I’ll put my track record up against anyone. Except maybe Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. Because I’ve written quite a bit these last two weeks, but Byrne has trumped me. And done so while being the CEO of a large Internet retailer. Here’s just a taste: [...]

  30. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » Sam E. Antar: From Crazy Eddie to Patrick Byrne’s worst nightmare on April 22nd, 2009 12:33 pm

    [...] Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s attacks on financial journalists are false [...]

  31. In agreement: Overstock.com sucks and Patrick Byrne is wacky | Sequence Inc. Fraud Files Blog on May 17th, 2009 8:41 am

    [...] And William K. Wolfrum writes in Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s attacks on financial journalists are false: Byrne’s relentless hype about naked short-selling has combined the “Swift Boat” mentality with the mentality of conspiracy theorists, with most of it being played out over the Internet. Those that have been detractors against Byrne’s short-selling campaign have been attacked via the Internet, with said attacks normally going after the integrity of the reporters in question. But in the story of Patrick Byrne and Overstock.com, there is really but one truth – over the past decade, Overstock.com has performed miserably. [...]

  32. JoeM on August 6th, 2009 11:15 am

    You are Communist scum and this blog is evil Communist agitprop.

  33. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » Hoax journalist troll Judd Bagley attacks obscure blogger over Martin Eisenstadt post on September 1st, 2009 6:58 am

    [...] I would imagine they’ll stick with the latter, after all, Byrne was an original backer of the Swift Boat Veterans for the truth. Who knows, though. Maybe Martin Eisenstadt himself should be advising Byrne and Bagley. [...]

  34. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » Overstock.com subpoena’d by the SEC - Salt Lake City newspapers miss the story on September 23rd, 2009 11:17 am

    [...] In the time since the subpoena was served, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne – who has a long and well-documented history of accusing “naked short-sellers” for any of his company’s woes, as well as for libelous attacks on financial journalists – has come out and accused the SEC of being in the pocket of these unnamed “short-sellers.” [...]

  35. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » Naked Short Spellers are destroying the quality, profitability of my blog on October 2nd, 2009 6:52 am

    [...] And anyone who doesn’t believe me is a dick. [...]

  36. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » Come to think of it, Fox Business Network isn’t much of a business network on October 22nd, 2009 2:27 am

    [...] The heroes at FBN’s Happy Hour decided to prove their utter worthlessness by interviewing Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne about the SEC: [...]

  37. Blogger laments upcoming loss of Patrick Byrne : William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on January 27th, 2010 4:32 am

    [...] Lords, the Russian Mob, Diamond heists, naked short selling, stalking, bizarre and libelous attacks on business journalists, karate, pretending he’s actually a journalist, etc. You can’t invent someone like [...]

  38. Has Patrick Byrne been abducted by Russian Mobsters? Sith Lords? Sure, why not? « Satire « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on November 10th, 2010 4:56 am

    [...] it have been unethical business reporters have something to do with Byrne’s disappearance? After all, Bethany McLean has been seen hitting the weights at her local [...]

  39. Rush Limbaugh & Overstock.com’s Patrick Byrne: Misogynists getting their due « News « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on March 5th, 2012 4:29 am

    [...] company has been easy to predict for some time now. And it appears no matter how hard he tries to libel & slander business journalists, his company will pay the ultimate price for his [...]

  40. Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is palling around with terrorists « Opinion « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on April 14th, 2012 11:06 am

    [...] written several times about Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, focusing on his love for intimidating and slandering financial journalists, his constant misleading of investors, and other [...]

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