Overstock's Patrick Byrne gets his revenge

    There's been considerable schadenfreude over Patrick Byrne's claims about naked short selling crashing his company Overstock, amongst which includes circular arguments that his company did poorly so he must be a hack, and the gleeful contention by Goldman Sachs et al that naked short selling didn't actually exist (despite massive fails to deliver exceeding outstanding shares). Claims that were echoed by some (one) here.

    Sadly for them, Goldman's lawyer accidentally released a ton of info showing not only did it exist, but that Goldman Sachs had excelled at it.

    The 2nd piece of schadenfreude was that someone Byrne's Deepcapture.org had reported on had a) gotten Deepcapture's DNS & other internet presence disabled via court order in Canada, and b) the Canadian court had accepted that person's case for summary judgement on a libel case. Meaning somehow that Byrne & Deepcapture are automatically guilty, as web rumor mills have it. Sadly for the mill, apparently "summary judgment" has been reversed, and the case will go to actual trial to address such issues as whether the plaintiff misled the court in shutting down Overstock, and whether Deepcapture was justified in its "libelous" statements as part of a news story.

    The 3rd piece to confirm Byrne was a hack was simply that he'd lost money, or "run Overstock into the ground" as the conventional wisdom went. Ignoring issues like Overstock had made a rebound during the economic meltdown, that if they hadn't made a boneheaded move by launching "o.co" domain & rights to name Oakland Coliseum 2 years ago they still likely would have made a profit that year, and all this competing against the formidable Amazon.com these days, and naked short sellers in days of yore.

    Well, three's the charm - Overstock's back over 26, after last years low of 5, and not too far off its peak of 27 in 2008 (thought not back to higher peaks in 2004 & 2007 of 72 & 36.6). Still, there must be something Patrick Byrne is doing right, and likely isn't the complete incompetent or scam artist as contended earlier. The tale's as old as the Book of Job - if you have bad fortune, someone will be assured you've sinned badly. But when that unlucky streak passes, will they be back to say they're sorry? I'll let Tracy Chapman have the last word.



    Where is WKW these days? Regardless of whether he was right about Overstock, I miss his wit.

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