The Patrick Byrne Meltdown Continues
Quite a day for Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com! The day began with Byrne under a cloud because of new questions about his one-year delay in disclosing an SEC subpoena.
The day ended with the cloud turning into a London pea-souper, and Byrne in a full-blown meltdown.
Byrne continued to shovel himself into the topsoil with his tongue long after the sun dipped past the Sierra Nevadas. More blather, lies and smears from this parody of a CEO materialized on the Investor Village message boards.
Floyd Norris, the latest member of the conspiracy, opines on the Byrne phenomenon.
Byrne has this non-answer on IV to the extensive questions raised by Sam Antar and Tracy Coenen about his inventory accounting: "Inventory: our inventory has conservative reserves against it, the calculation is thoroughly reviewed by PriceWaterhouse every quarter, and in fact I think the reserves are really ample."
That's not only a non-answer, but it also responds to a non-question. The issue is not whether the "reserves are really ample" but rather his possible use of the reserves to manipulate the P&L.
Sam Antar responded: "Were Overstock.com's inventory reserves for each and every quarter that the company filed reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission 'conservative' and 'ample'?"
Since Byrne does not take advice, here is a suggestion that I hope he disregards: Don't behave this way at your SEC deposition.
© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.
Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site, gary-weiss.com.