In July, 2015, Patrick Byrne, the founder of the online discount retailer Overstock, delivered a twenty-minute talk at FreedomFest, the annual libertarian conference in Las Vegas. Other speakers included the venture capitalist Peter Thiel; John Mackey, the chief executive officer of Whole Foods; and the Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.
Byrne’s talk, entitled “Turtles All the Way Down: How the Crypto-Revolution Solves Intractable Problems on Wall Street,” was a version of one he had given many times before. It touched on several of his interests, including the kind of liberalism usually referred to as libertarianism, the flaws in the structure of the stock market which make it vulnerable to manipulation, and how a blockchain-based financial system could eliminate those flaws. After the talk, a line of people waited by the stage to speak to Byrne. Continue reading “Article: A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive”
Judd Bagley is the Vice President of Marketing at Everise. Prior to his position at Everise, Judd worked as Senior Director of Communications at Netki, Evernym, InsideSales.com and also served as the former Director of Communications at Overstock.com. Prior to that, as Director of Public Relations for Summit Group Communications, one of the largest PR firms in the state of Utah. Bagley studied biology at the University of Utah.
It’s been a long time since the financial press has cast a skeptical eye on Overstock.com and its CEO, Patrick Byrne, Yet there are multiple reasons to do so. Five thousand to be exact. So I’ve dusted off my blog for an update on my favorite fraudulent stock.
As in all soap operas, its continuing story line is not new: Byrne wants the stock to go up. The stock has a history of manipulation, mainly through cooking the books, resulting in multiple restatements. But it takes an expert to sniff out accounting irregularities. All you need to detect the latest Overstock scam is a working pair of eyes and an Internet connection.
In a scathing decision released on May 6, a Vancouver court found Byrne and his “Deep Capture” fake news venture had fabricated lurid accusations of criminal conduct against a Vancouver businessman named Aly Nazerali. The damage award consists mainly of punitive and aggravated damages, and the judge found that the conduct of Byrne and his minions was so egregious that he slapped a permanent injunction on the defendants.
I’ve written about Byrne quite a bit in the past because he was the very worst of Corporate America, from his bizarre stock-market conspiracy theories to his well-documented accounting games, which he countered by vicious personal attacks on critics and the media. He is a kind of small-bore Donald Trump, a “born on third base who thinks he hit a triple” kind of guy. Byrne lies so frequently and with such gusto that it’s hard to say if he can distinguish fact from fiction. He is on indefinite leave from Overstock because of a Hepatitis C infection, a disease ordinarily caused by intravenous drug use—or, if you believe him, a wound sewn up by “barefoot doctor in China.”
HSBC was guilty of a “blatant failure” to implement anti-money laundering controls and wilfully flouted US sanctions, American prosecutors said, as the bank was forced to pay a record $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to settle allegations it allowed terrorists to move money around the financial system.
London: A scandal erupting at Europe’s biggest bank HSBC has added to concerns over the state of Britain’s financial sector amid the Barclays rate rigging affair and as the industry faces a major shake-up.
HSBC last week apologised and its head of compliance David Bagley resigned after US lawmakers accused the London-based bank of failing to apply anti-laundering rules, benefitting Iran, terrorists and drug dealers.
The HSBC affair follows hot on the heels of the Libor interest rate rigging scandal that has brought down top executives at Britain’s Barclays bank — most notably its chief executive Bob Diamond and chairman Marcus Agius.
Regulators are reportedly investigating HSBC, as well as Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale, over alleged manipulation of the Libor rate after Barclays was recently fined £290 million (Dh1.66 billion) over the affair.
Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has said its Libor probe is looking at seven groups, which are not only British institutions.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King has meanwhile proposed that central bank governors and regulators discuss Libor reform at their upcoming meeting in Basel, Switzerland, on September 9.
Barclays has admitted attempting to manipulate the Libor and Euribor rates between 2005 and 2009.
Patrick Byrne has a new conspiracy theory to explain why his corporate crime petri dish Overstock.com is under investigation by the SEC. Seems that short sellers, in addition to having a fax machine at CNBC, also have a hotline to the SEC, in which they bark out orders to start investigations against innocent CEOs like Byrne.
Byrne made that comment on Fox Business News, where he is trotted out as an “internet retailing expert,” no doubt because of the skill at which he has eased Overstock into negative shareholder equity. He was brought out this time for a ritual denunciation of new bank compensation rules.
In other words, Dendreon is not like the third-rate Internet retailer Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK), whose wack-a-doo CEO Patrick Byrne has been weaving wild conspiracy theories over naked short selling for years, ever since it dawned on him that he simply does not know how to run a company. His talents, to the extent he has any, lie elsewhere (standup comedy?), but he has never eked out a profit for his company. His recent announcement of tiny fourth quarter profits was achieved by accounting gimmickry.
Apparently hedge funds like Kynikos, and SAC, have a secret for their outsize performance.
Racketeering, and illegal frontrunning, if my read is correct.
That’s the only conclusion one can draw from the stunningly simple and obvious analysis of email records that Judd Bagley, over at the Deepcapture site, has compiled.
You have Jim Chanos, who is all over the airwaves as the advocate and public face of the hedge fund world, who argues against any and all regulation or oversight for hedge funds or short sellers, apparently actively frontrunning information illegally obtained from stock analysts, who eagerly shared their analysis and spreadsheets with him in advance of publishing negative smear pieces subsequently shown by time to have been nothing more than hatchet jobs.
Portfolio Magazine cited by DeepCapture, 31 December 2008
For over 10 years Gary Weiss (once a reporter with BusinessWeek, and recently, a columnist with Forbes) has been posting under fake names to confuse, distort, and hijack Usenet groups, stock message boards, and Wikipedia, using social media to prevent the public from understanding criminal activity.
I now turn to Gary Weiss. Last year one of the most prominent journalists on Wall Street warned me, “I’ve known Weiss for years. Be careful. He’s a psychopath.” As you will see, he was neither joking nor exaggerating. I think, however, that Gary is better described as a “Scaramouch.”
A couple of months ago I described how Overstock.com’s terminally wacky CEO Patrick Byrne has thrown caution (and any lingering sanity) to the winds and was openly sponsoring attacks on journalists and other critics, on a smear site that he owned and was operated on Overstock servers, “Deep Capture.”
This was a change from Byrne’s previous tactic of claiming that smears and attacks were by people who just coincidentally happened to be his employees. The word for this is “astroturfing,” and it is a particularly sleazy method of concealing corporate (and sometimes government) involvement in dirty tricks campaigns.
UNSUSPECTING readers of certain stock message boards may be forgiven for believing they have stumbled into a flame war among 14-year-old boys. But the increasingly vicious online dispute actually involves, among others, the chief executive of a publicly traded corporation and a longtime business journalist.
The chief executive is Patrick Byrne, who in recent years has taken to asserting that a vast conspiracy of securities traders, journalists and government officials is bent on bringing down the stock of his company, Overstock.com, a peddler of excess inventory. The journalist is Gary Weiss, the author and former BusinessWeek reporter who has made a second career out of ridiculing Mr. Byrne on his blog (garyweiss.blogspot.com).
By Mark Mitchell, with reporting by the Deep Capture Team
The Columbia School of Journalism is our nation’s finest. They grant the Pulitzer Prize, and their journal, The Columbia Journalism Review, is the profession’s gold standard. CJR reporters are high priests of a decaying temple, tending a flame in a land going dark. In 2006 a CJR editor (a seasoned journalist formerly with Time magazine in Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, and The Far Eastern Economic Review) called me to discuss suspicions he was forming about the US financial media. I gave him leads but warned, “Chasing this will take you down a rabbit hole with no bottom.” For months he pursued his story against pressure and threats he once described as, “something out of a Hollywood B movie, but unlike the movies, the evil corporations fighting the journalist are not thugs burying toxic waste, they are Wall Street and the financial media itself.” His exposé reveals a circle of corruption enclosing venerable Wall Street banks, shady offshore financiers, and suspiciously compliant reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, CNBC, and The New York Times. If you ever wonder how reporters react when a journalist investigates them (answer: like white-collar crooks they dodge interviews, lie, and hide behind lawyers), or if financial corruption interests you, then this is for you. It makes Grisham read like a book of bedtime stories, and exposes a scandal that may make Enron look like an afternoon tea.
Introduction By Patrick M. Byrne, Deep Capture Reporter
Judd Bagley: This presentation, created in 2006, launched the popular market reform movement. Overstock.com CEO Dr. Patrick Byrne explains illegal naked short selling, its roots and risks, in terms anybody can understand. It consists of short illustrated videos and then a final uncut full audio.