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.
One of the key themes that have emerged in the past year is that, having loaded up their balance sheets with tens of trillions in various assets, central banks are "running out of road." While it is a topic extensively discussed on these pages, going all the way back to 2014, a good summary of the practical limitations on central banks comes from the following series of charts from Deutsche Bank.
The first slide looks at the bond transmission mechanism, namely...
By Gary D. Halbert. Originally published at ValueWalk.
Trump/Clinton Economic Plans Revisited, Extremely Different
FORECASTS & TRENDS E-LETTER
by Gary D. Halbert
September 27, 2016
Trump’s Economic & Tax Plan Looks a Lot Like Ronald Reagan’s
Clinton’s Economic & Tax Plan is a Lot Like Obama’s, But Worse
Are You an Accredited Investor? If Yes, Let Us Know ASAP
For the last several years, the economy has ranked #1 among the greatest concerns expressed by most Americans. And as we all know, the state of the economy has a huge bearing on the investment markets. With that in mind, let’s take a look today at the latest economic and tax propo...
China has stanched a string of defaults and speculation authorities will continue to stave off failures is leaving investors the most bullish on local junk bonds in five years, despite record maturities.
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Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."
Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.
Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.' Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color). Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...
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