During an ongoing SEC investigation into financial reporting violations by a public company, competent lawyers will advise management that the wisest course of action is to simply shut up. Not so, with Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne. He does not know when to stop blabbing away, misleading investors, and lying to the media – even during an ongoing SEC investigation of his antics.
For example, in 2009, I correctly reported in my blog that Overstock.com violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in accounting for its recoveries of certain offsetting costs and reimbursements amounts due to the company from its fulfillment partners (suppliers) who were under-billed in previous reporting periods, from Q1 2007 to Q 2 2008. Overstock.com should have restated its financial reports to recognize income when those offsetting costs and reimbursements were actually earned by the company in those previous reporting periods.
Instead, the company improperly recognized income as those amounts were collected in future accounting periods (Q4 2008 to Q3 2009) on a non-GAAP cash basis. In one instance, Overstock.com improperly reported Q4 2008 profits, even though the company should have reported a loss under accounting rules.
Despite many emails from me, Patrick Byrne stubbornly refused to correct his company’s GAAP violations and even fired Grant Thornton as its auditor for agreeing with my recommendations. Instead, Byrne opened up his big mouth and attacked me on a stock market chat board and during various earnings calls in an effort to discredit me. Byrne even hired internet stalker Judd Bagley to interfere with my divorce and pretext my children and relatives after I pointed out the company’s accounting violations.
Patrick Byrne while intoxicated
The company’s pretexting operation also targeted dozens of other journalists, bloggers, critics, and their minor children, too. Big Picture (over 140,000 subscribers) blogger Barry Rithholtz called Judd Bagley a "possible pedarast." His family was spied on, too.
Eventually, the SEC started investigating Overstock.com and the company was forced to restate its financial reports. Patrick Byrne will have a difficult time explaining to SEC investigators why they should not find that Overstock.com’s GAAP violations were a deliberate scheme to manipulate earnings. At…
Overstock.com’s wack-a-doo CEO, Patrick Byrne, has apparently found a new kind of crud to foist on the his ever-suffering shareholder base--$3.1 million in Overstock.com shares.
White collar crime fighter Sam Antar has an analysis today of Byrne’s dumping of the shares, which were shed by Byrne’s wholly-owned hedge fund, High Plains Investments LLC.
Barry Ritholtz points out today that he owns shares in the company — an example, I suggest, of the downside of quantitative investment strategies — even though "I personally think it is a steaming pile of shit, that the CEO is an asshole, and that the entire company is probably corrupt."
Did I read that right? Ritholtz is actually long OSTK? Well sh*t, if you look at it as an investment strategy and ignore the blatant fraud, one can assume Overstock has at least two or three more audit firms to turn to just in case KPMG needs to be fired and can keep this up for quite some time as long as the SEC stays toothless. So maybe Barry is onto something.
Uh… Any word on what the SEC is up to when it comes to Overstock?
Gary and Barry floated the theory that Byrne is simply trying to fund the SEC fine his company is about to get handed to their a**es. Hmmm. Maybe he needs to hire some incendiaries to go mess with people who talk poorly of Mr Byrne and his company’s questionable accounting methods? $3.12 million can go quite a ways, you know.
Sam and Caleb also gave Patrick some play for this move.
Jr Deputy Accountant humbly disagrees with Ritholtz, if anyone can be that dumb, it’s you-know-who.
A roughly quarter of a million dollar play in the 17Apr’14 expiry $74 strike put options on Las Vegas Sands Corp (Ticker: LVS) caught our eye this morning, as just one full trading session remains in the life of these contracts in this holiday-shortened week. Shares in LVS are up more than 2.0% on the session at $74.90 just before 11:30 am ET and off an earlier session high of $75.44. Like many of the relative outperformers of 2014, shares in LVS have declined substantially since the beginning of March, down around 15% at its current level from a high of $88.28. Recent sessions have been volatile in this and other high-beta names, and perhaps this environment is just what the morning’s put trader is looking for ahead of expiration.
Some analysts are beginning to suggest that inflation in the Unites States may have bottomed. As discussed earlier this years (see post), US inflation indicators were pointing to the lowest rate since 2009. Are the global disinflationary pressures going to push the rate of price increases in the US to new lows or have we hit the bottom?
First of all, what is the market telling us? Market expectations of future inflation remain subdued, with the so-called breakeven (implied from TIPS) rates still near the 3-year low.
What would we do without the Wall Street Journal? Do people actually pay for this lame-brained noise?
Retail Sales Surge as Consumers Rev Up Growth Indicator Posts Best Monthly Growth Since September 2012
In fact, we are now entering the fifth season of head-fakes about “escape velocity” acceleration in as many years. Yet the Wall Street stock peddlers and their financial media echo boxes are so fixated on the latest “delta”—that is,&nbs...
Note from dshort: This commentary has been revised to include March Real Retail Sales (adjusted with yesterday's CPI report) and today's release of March Industrial Production.
Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.
There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:
Real Personal Income (excluding transfer payments)
Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%. Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%. That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine.
But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%. While autos led, sales were up solidly overall. Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone. Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises. As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%. NASDAQ had a less...
[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process.
The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...
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Market Shadows Excelled – With a 1.36% Weekly Decline
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. Our Virtual Value Porfolio took on that role this week as we lost a modest 1.36% of our value while the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropped from 2.35% - 3.10%.
We remain bullish despite the shaky end of week sentiment. Our original $100,000 now totals $145,058 including our 2.8% cash reserve.
I just wanted to be sure you saw this. There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.
If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.
Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
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