White Collar Fraud, 20 December 2017
Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is good at many things, but not running a public company. The company has cooked the books for years at a time, and as explored by money manager Dave Kranzler in this Seeking Alpha blog, Overstock is a “dumpster fire waiting to happen,” a cash-burning vehicle run by a hype-happy chief executive and floating on a cloud of hot air.
But Byrne is very good at hype and suppressing negative coverage, and we’ve seen much of the former and little of the latter lately. Overstock shares have climbed. Dissenting voices exist only on social media. There is little press coverage of the company that is skeptical or probing, and puff pieces predominate. The CEO’s long-established record of deception and odd behavior has been disregarded, even distorted. One recent CNNMoney article rewrote history by turning Byrne’s infamous “Sith Lord” fantasy into a metaphor, and not the paranoid delusion, referring to an imaginary person, that it actually was.