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.
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And What Might the Copper Carry Trade and Plunge in Chinese Exports Be Signaling to Investors?
How likely is the market to continue higher from here? Despite everything the market inches up. Now either we are all amiss, and in face of those high winds we still see market being so resilient, which means the market will break higher and move decisively up, or next week it breaks.
Great question, and you frame it well when you reference the wall of worry the stock market continues to resiliently climb. It reminds me of a client in AR who always asks, "Yes, but where are you wrong?" Oftentimes I haven't had a satisfactory and simple answer. But, today, I think I do. And I will keep it simple.
It would appear the fecal matter is starting to come into contact with the rotating object in China. Worrying headlines are beginning to mount on the back of real economic events (an actual default and a collapse in exports):
*COPPER IN SHANGHAI FALLS BY 5% DAILY LIMIT TO 46,670 YUAN A TON
*CHINA YUAN WEAKENS 0.46% TO 6.1564 VS U.S. DOLLAR
*YUAN DROPS MOST SINCE 2008
Aside from that Iron ore prices are crumbling, Asian stocks are dropping, Chinese corporate bond prices aee falling at their fastest pace in almost 4 months, and all this as 7-day repo drops to one-year lows (as bank...
IF you walk into a farm-supply store today, you’re likely to find a bag of antibiotic powder that claims to boost the growth of poultry and livestock. That’s because decades of agricultural research has shown that antibiotics seem to flip a switch in young animals’ bodies, helping them pack on pounds. Manufacturers brag about the miraculous effects of feeding antibiotics to chicks and nursing calves. Dusty agricultural journals attest to the ways in which the drugs can act like a kind of superfood to produce cheap meat.
But what if that meat is us? Recently, a group of medical investigators have begun to wonder whethe...
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
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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...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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