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CEOs Gone Wild: Patrick Byrne


Sith Lords have it in for

This past April, Herb Greenberg, the respected financial journalist and Minyanville professor emeritus, asked if it was "time to start feeling sorry for Patrick Byrne, the Overstock (OSTK) CEO whose comments at times appear to be detached from any sense of reality."
Minyanville's CEOS Gone Wild
What was Byrne's comment? To wit:
"I happen to know for a fact that there's a fax machine in the CNBC offices where every morning hedge machines, I mean hedge funds, send instructions and journalists sit around and take instructions."
CNBC employees emphatically deny the existence of any such fax machine. But then, they would, wouldn't they?
What's undeniable, however, is Byrne's assertion that a cabal controlled by a "Sith Lord" is actively working to destroy his company.
Just who is this mysterious force of evil that's out to get Patrick Byrne?
According to the Order of the Sith Lords, it could only be one of the following:
  • Darth Bane
  • Darth Zannah
  • Darth Cognus
  • Darth Millennial
  • Darth Vectivus
  • Darth Plagueis
  • Darth Sidious
  • Darth Maul
  • Darth Tyrannus
  • Darth Vader
But why would any of them be interested in obliterating The Siths are an ancient order of practitioners of the dark side of the Force determined to destroy Jedi Knights, not online retailers like
Plus, Siths only operate in pairs: One master and one apprentice. Therefore, a single Sith Lord acting independently to damage Overstock's share price would be totally unrealistic.
Byrne points to naked short selling as the root cause of his company's troubles.
To which I say, "Poppycock."
Sith Lords are not skilled in shorting the market. Their expertise lies in the art of lightsaber combat. Darth Maul, for example, is considered one of the most talented warriors ever to wield one.
Of course, I could be completely wrong. Darth Vectivus may still be peeved about that Gold's Gym Power Spin 200 stationary bike he ordered from that arrived damaged.
Or maybe Darth Cognus wasn't satisfied with the savings he was promised on a Bill Blass washed-silk blazer. Or with the fact that it made him look fat.
In 2005, billionaire investor Mark Cuban said that he was shorting shares, because "Patrick Byrne is a paranoid fool... A rule of thumb I have is that companies run by people I feel are paranoid fools, tend to go out of business... That makes them a good short."
Is Mark Cuban actually Darth Plagueis? Have we finally solved the mystery?
"In a perfect world, if I want a company to fail... I would try to get them to hire Patrick Byrne," he remarked.
That's it. I'm calling Han Solo.
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