That Herd of Independent Minds: Our New York Financial Press

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:14 pm Post subject: That Herd of Independent Minds: Our New York Financial Press

Some seem to be noticing that my mitzvah (that is my name for my efforts to expose an enormous financial scandal that is occurring on Wall Street) is gaining traction. Forbes has covered it in several articles in the last few months, Bloomberg Television recently released “Phantom Shares,” an amazing half-hour documentary about it, numerous foreign news sources are starting to cover it, The Economist hosted me earlier this week in a debate before an audience in Manhattan ( ), and there may even be a couple more major pieces in the works.It was entirely predictable then, that today Roddy Boyd of The New York Post (a newspaper for people who move their lips when they read People Magazine), Floyd Norris of The New York Times, and Herb Greenberg have all contacted me today about a trivial non-issue but asking precisely the same question in similar language that makes the same false assumptions, almost as though it were orchestrated. How odd (Sloppy work, guys: write back for new instructions). Their sloppiness presents, however, a wonderful opportunity to display the corruption of our financial press, how it shills for the powerful financial interests which own it and against whose perfidy I have been gaining traction in exposing. I will tell you the facts, and then present their questions, to give you an idea of how this works.I and some colleagues (both within and outside the company) have voluntarily cooperated with the SEC for over two years in a variety of investigations run out of several offices. I started doing this because I became convinced our capital markets are strikingly corrupt and have to be fixed or else our country may endure a 1929 event. All along I informed them that at any time I would be more than happy to provide them, in fact pleaded with them to examine, documentation of my various assertions. In addition, I repeatedly suggested to them that on any issue within the company about which they ahd any doubt or concern, to please permit me to provide them whatever documentation they needed in order to clear their minds and satisfy themselves that my motives were pure.On May 4 of last year they took me up on my offer, sending a subpoena for an enormous volume of documents concerning my allegations regarding corruption on Wall Street, along with questions concerning issues about which I had repeatedly suggested I would love to clear their minds. Upon receiving that subpoena, we visited them to suggest that it was not sufficiently broad enough, that there were additional materials in my personal (not corporate) possession I would like to turn over that were not covered in the first, and to request that they request these of me (which they immediately did in a subsequent short, 150 word coda subpoena on issues that were generally a subset of the first, along with those additional materials we were suggesting we provide but were in my personal, not corporate, possession).

This all happened over an 11 day period in the first half of May, 2006. Though not required to do so, in the midst of it I issued a press release not only informing the public of our receipt of subpoena, but celebrating it. I literally put out a press release of which, their subsequent kibbutzing notwithstanding, I was and remain proud: “ Celebrates Receipt of SEC Subpoena” ( ). And in subsequent interviews and radio appearances I have discussed these events.

Now, a year later, how odd that the precise set of journalists and their lampreys (can lampreys have lampreys?) who write stories that support the investment positions of a small stable of hedge funds would concern themselves with precisely the same trivial point on the same non-issue that I have been discussing publicly for over a year. These three journalists have apparently decide that have decided that this was not enough, that I should have put out another press release about the coda-subpoena that followed up on the first that I announced with a press release, which itself made headlines for my decision to publicize my “celebration” of it, as though (after all that). Typical of their ilk is this from Herb:

From: Greenberg, Herbert [mailto:XXX] Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 6:05 AM
To: Patrick Byrne
Subject: Patrick’s subpoenaPatrick,I’m working on a small piece about your subpoena and had one question: Why did you wait nearly a full year to disclose your subpoena?Thanks,

Herb Greenberg

Roddy Boyd writes:

“i had no idea of was that you had received a subpoena. looking at the docs last night, it is disclosed that you did get one. why the 1 year delay in disclosure?”

Floyd Norris contacted us with the same question.The beat goes on. I’m just curious that I did not hear from Bethany and Carol as well.Here is the punch-line: as a matter of law I must tread carefully here, but I can say that the heart of the investigation is not, I would suggest, Overstock-centric, but rather, concerns itself with a strange set of relationships among ….. Well, let me just say that the irony here is just delicious.

In a strange occurrence that would tend to confirm the existence of a karmic balance in the universe, not long ago I was contacted by a source located at the core of the relationships alluded to above. That source paints a startlingly clear picture of how this “system” really works, backed up by approximately one-thousand emails and other documents provided to confirm every word. Given the apparent locus of the SEC’s interest, you can expect me to deal with this gold mine of evidence as any concerned citizen would.

Your humble servant,


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