What more could be written about Overstock.com and Patrick Byrne that hasn’t already been writtenâ€”or said by Byrne himself?
Byrne is, after all, the man behind such gems as:
“As this went on I started realizing that there was actually some more orchestration here being provided, by what Iâ€™m calling here is the Sith Lordâ€¦He’s one of the master criminals from the 1980s, and he’s back in business. But Iâ€™m not going to. Iâ€™ll just call him the master mind today…
“So, in the words of Wayne and Garth, ‘Squeeze me?’”
“On the coke head thing, and by the way, Iâ€™ve never, with one exception, I’ve never even seen cocaine in my life so in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not a coke head…”
Well, there was one thing: Overstock had never turned a profit. Until now, that is. Barely.
To recap, if you know Patrick Byrne’s name, it’s just as likely that you associate him with the term “Sith Lord” than you do with “Overstock.” In 2005, Byrne engaged in a lengthy and very public shouting match with Rocker Partners, Gradient Analytics, Jeff Matthews at RAM Partners and various others in the media and in hedge fundsâ€”all of whom Byrne suspected of being involved in, or at least apologists forâ€”a conspiracy to drive down Overstock.com’s stock price via naked short selling.
Whatever legitimate points Byrne might have had about the problem of naked short selling were obscured by his belligerent approach to confronting those he believed were wronging him and his company. Recently, though, regulatory attention has focused on naked short selling, and both Gradient and Rocker have settled Overstock.com’s legal complaints. So Byrne had an added air of credibility, at least in some circles.