You never think this stuff really happens, but it does. There are crazies out there, and in a population ofthousands of public companies, at least one is going to be run by someone who is a little bit “off”.
I dont know Patrick Byrne personally. I have followed his comments as CEO of Overstock.com because I am short 20k shares of the stock (Which i shorted because Patrick Byrne is CEO), and because he is extremely entertaining. Humor, even if unintentional is hard to find in the business world, so from that perspective, his efforts are much appreciated.
I have written in the past about his amazing conference call that will go down in business history as the most bizarre ever. When Broadcast.com first broadcast live an Insight Enterprises quarterly earnings call, and then archived it for future listening back in 1996, I never could have imagined that any call would reach such entertainment heights.
I have written in the past about one of Mr Byrnes pet topics, Naked Shorting and how its become its own little XFiles conspiracy communitywith people matching Byrne with their paranoia. The only question about those guys is which will come first, a Law & Order episode mocking them or one of them actually stabbing themself in the foot to try to prove that someone is truly after them.
In any event, I guess it should come as no suprise when Mr Byrne made some comments about me in an interview this morning on Bloomberg Television . This in turn led to a request for comment from Bloomberg.
It was all humorous to me, so i thought i would share. Hope you get a chuckle out of it.
On Fri, 23 Dec 2005 1:07 pm, JEANNINE DEFOE, BLOOMBERG/ NEWSROOM:
> Hello, my name is Jeannine DeFoe and I am a reporter with
> Bloomberg News.
> Patrick Byrne of Overstock.com was on Bloomberg television earlier
> today and made some critical comments about you and short-sellers in general.
> Here is a quote:
> “I can tell you that Cuban’s friends, what they’re going to do is
> comeafter me in January, they’re trying to get the SEC to launch an
> investigation, I think they’re going to try to get the DOJ to investigate me. Some of
> the people I’m up against are mobsters. I fully expect you’re going to hear
> about the police stopping me with a pound of heroin, or a dead body, or
> something in my trunk.”
> We want to give you a chance to respond
Patrick byrne is a paranoid fool. I am short 20k shares. I would love to
short many many more shares because a rule of thumb I have is that
companies run by people I feel are paranoid fools, tend to go out of
business. That makes them a good short
Unfortunately, I can’t borrow any more shares to short. I do business
through UBS. Nobody in their organization has a way to short more
shares. (Puts are too expensive. Even shorting the stock has a huge
rebate expense attached)
I have no idea who he is referring to as my friends, but I am happy to
swear to the fact , and you can take this as a sworn statement that I
have never discussed ‘going after’ him. Nor do I have any sense of what
he is talking about.
in a perfect world, if I want a company to fail, I wouldn’t go to the
SEC, or to the DOJ. (Neither of which I have ever done, nor do I plan
to) I would just try to get them to hire Patrick Byrne.