Hey Sports Fans,
I came home from work early with a toothache. I see so many people defend me here.
That's nice. I wonder if even you defenders get how
nonsensical are most of the attacks. As far as I can tell, whenever
there is some unknown, the bad guys invent the worst interpretation
possible, knowing no one here (including them) knows the truth on
that point. They have wiggle room, and they wiggle.
So for those
supporters who do wonder what the truth is on these points the
miscreants raise, I'll fill some squares in here. None of these trip
any Reg FD issues, I think it is safe to say.
1) In the early days of Overstock I got a lot out of reading message
boards. Both supporters and detractors posted things that I had not
seen or thought of, and was able to take to heart. Call it, "The Power
of the Swarm." In fact, there was a short-oriented analyst that posted
his analysis of something (I forget what it was) that was actually
really valuable, and we changed what we were doing based on it. Then
the organized hedge fund choagies showed up, and clogged, and it
became less and less valuable on that score. Still, I tend to come to
Investor Village at least once/week, and while I do not read every
post, I do skim and still occasionally find useful thoughts.
I think I have all of these people
on Ignore, yet occasionally I respond to one. How is that? From reading
your interchanges with them. If it looks from reading your posts that
one of the miscreants has said something interesting, I use the "In
response to" feature, or else just sign out so that all the ignored
messages appear. I did that today, see what they are clogging about,
and will throw up some answers. It feels odd doing so, because it is
hard to believe anyone would fall for their crapola, but I might as
well give my supporters the ammunition.
2) "Gag order"? There is no gag order. In Overstock II (that is, our
case against the Prime Brokers), some documents will be turned over in
discovery marked "Highly confidential," and are for attorneys' eyes
only. That is pretty normal, I think, and in any case, fine by me.
Probably even for the best, because otherwise, I would someday write
something on DeepCapture that they would say I learned through
discovery, and I do not want that to happen.
3) The "1,000 companies" question? The miscreants ask for examples. If
you give one like "Taser" they say something like, "It does not count
because it did not go under." If one gives as an example a company that
under, they say, "That does not count because it is a crappy company:
see, it went under!" In other words, no data disconfirms their theory.
When someone holds a theory which no data can disconfirm, it is not a
theory, it is dogma.
The truth is, the range of responsible estimates themselves vary
all over. Bob Drummond's piece in Bloomberg ("Games Short Sellers
said that hundreds of companies are victimized each month.
Robert Shapiro has given numbers ranging in the hundreds to a thousand
or more. Those in the industry who are on my side (and there are many)
widely describe that number as being a vast underestimate. One could
that any company that went BK while on the Reg SHO list is possibly an
example, just as one could argue that anyone who dies in a hospital
where some psychopath had poisoned the food is possibly
a murder victim (some would have died anyway, some wouldn't have, but one should still not poison hospital food, right?).
But I return to the point they have dodged here. My response to
all their hooey is, "Could be. Or maybe not. Let us see the data." When
the regulator is refusing to release data on the grounds that it could
crack the system, it does not fill me, for one, with confidence.
3) From my brief acquaintance with their current claims they cannot
seem to make up their minds about whether I tout the stock or not. I
have a clip around here somewhere I'll have to dig up. It is Jim
Cramer, in 2004 or 2005, claiming that I was manipulating OSTK because
I was always under-promising then trouncing the numbers. Then the Party
Line became that I was touting the stock by "promising" high numbers
that I did not deliver. Again, their theory is that I manipulate OSTK,
and the data they adduce in support of their theory is either that we
surpass expectations, or miss them. A theory that is confirmed by all
possible data is not a theory, it's dogma.
4) Somebody quoted a miscreant saying something to the effect that I
had to know no one would believe me about saying the stock was risky (I
cannot find the post now). Again, that's just dumb. I think I'm the
most transparent CEO around, and when I said that this was a risky and
manipulated stock, I meant it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I
don't even understand the miscreant's claim: what Machiavellian purpose
might I have been pursuing by saying that?
5) Seedy bars and CNBC fax machines - As I mentioned in DeepCapture, I
had two witnesses to the conversation where a threat was conveyed. And
that was just the beginning: the threats are fully documented. And I
stand by the fax machine comment 100% (and in fact, have confirmed it
with another source). It is hilarious to me that miscreants quote that
as though it were given that one should reject it a priori
It sure seems to have touched a nerve with CNBC. But no, I am not going
to reveal publicly who told me that: as a journalist I must protect my
sources. People can decide for themselves whether to believe me or not
on that one.
6) If any of you good guys ever want me to give you ammunition by
answering some of their accusations, please feel free to ask. Just post
a question here and drop me an email to draw my attention to it. As
long as I can answer while staying within the four corners of Reg FD, I
7) I have one great misgiving hovering over all this tit-for-tat, and
that is, it plays into their agenda of clogging the discourse. In my
view, all of their stuff reads like Sam Antar. It amounts to,
"In 2002 you said that you don't like blue but I saw you in a blue
shirt last week and you carried the book Blue Highways
William Least Heat Moon and your eyes are blue so does that mean you
don't like what you are reading and how do you answer the charge that
you are prejudiced against Native Americans?" It is total gibberish
unworthy of response. You have to ask yourselves, why are they doing
it? And I think it is all part of their scheme to clog away any
understanding of what this fight is really about.
What is this fight about? Stealing from a recent blog, these are the claims I began making publicly in 2005:
a) The SEC had grown inappropriately close to Wall Street (which SEC Senior Investigator Gary Aguirre and a Senate Judiciary Committee report have since confirmed);
b) The New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was a corrupt finger-puppet (subsequent events have confirmed
the corruption, and I am waiting for anyone in the press to see the
“finger-puppet” implication of Spitzer’s favorite girl, Ashlee, living
rent-free in the summer home of Spitzer’s biggest donor, Jim Chanos);
c) Certain hedge funds had grown inappropriately close to certain
journalists of the financial press (which CNBC’s own Jim Cramer has since confirmed);
d) As a result of the indolence of the SEC, New York Attorney
General, and financial press, a circle of hedge funds were taking down
When the miscreants go on their chants about how I make claims I do not
back up, I would suggest you stick that in their face, rather than play
their game of arguing about which companies that were poisoned deserved