back to article Overstock's share price has plummeted. Is it Trump's trade war? Bad results? Nope, its CEO has gone bonkers...

How much of a company's value is tied up in its leadership? Well, in the case of excess stock reseller Overstock.com it appears to be somewhere between 27 and 38 per cent – because that's how much its stock plummeted after CEO Patrick Byrne published what may be the craziest corporate communication the world has seen. And, yes …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr. McAfee I presume?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Mr. McAfee I presume?

      High ? I'm Charlie Sheen.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        This whole thing does seem to smell of being drug induced like Mr. Sheen's doesn't it. I have witnessed this type of behavior in a relative who liked their narcotics (legal ones only).

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          who liked their narcotics (legal ones only)

          I like my legal narcotics too - they enable me to move when my arthritis is really bad..

          (If you consider codeine a narcotic)

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        High ?

        Or, as one UK-based NFL analyst used to say "he got high, but not in the Ricky Williams' sense"..

        (Ricky Williams being an NFL running back that freely admitted smoking dope.)

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Alien

      The shirt it wears in the NYT page shows unequivocally he was abducted by aliens and probed deeply.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Definitely McAfee Syndrome. With complications of Muskitis and possibly Trumpophrenia.

      I prescribe a long leave of absence from work, plus liberal doses of Obamacillin with perhaps a mild dose of Warrenorphine to offset the trauma.

      Should be right (or left) as rain in no time.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      is every genius just a *little* crazy?

      could be a late onset of schizophrenia [which usually manifests itself when you're in your 20's according to the online references I've found].

      as long as it's "harmless crazy" nobody should care, though.

      Then again... from the article, he got a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University.

      Maybe it's just THAT driving "the crazy".

      I suspect every genius is just a *little* crazy. But hey, as long as your crazy stays in your head, it could just be 'genius'...

      /me going back to my 'mad science' now, muahahahahahaha

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Some of us spotted this years ago when he went full butter

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes you wonder who thought it was a good idea to put this absolute mental in charge?

      If the shareholders don't demand an immediate replacement then you can be sure he'll run the place into the ground sooner or later.

  3. Joe W Silver badge

    Bogan....

    Bam Brogan, or whatever that guy's name was...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No crazier that some of the shite I've heard from some dumb-ass PHB's at the top.

  5. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Go

    A generation ago

    I'm sure many of us are old enough to remember Ratner ...

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: A generation ago

      I was under the impression that Ratner was just making a joke - at a private event - but video leaked and was taken out of context...

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: A generation ago

        Ratner's mistake was not that he characterised his stock as "total crap" - which his customers were pretty much well aware of and happy with - but that he failed to realise there would be a concerted and determined effort to demonise and take him down.

        Certain sections of the media were intent on crucifying him and they succeeded, rallying the mob in manufactured outrage.

        He wasn't the first and he won't be the last.

    2. Stuart Castle

      Re: A generation ago

      Ratner wasn't the first ceo to make a statement that destroyed his company. Before IBM established a hold over the Personal Computer market, there was a company that built the first

      "portable computer", the Osborne One (if you look it up, you'll see why portable is in quotes, it weighed 10 kilos). Adam Osborn (the founder and CEO) started showing it's successor at the height of it's popularity, and sales tanked..

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: A generation ago

        The Osborne story is not that simple. Adam did show a prototype Osborne Executive to journalists on condition that they not print anything until the release date. The journalists did not print anything until after the specified date but the distributors found out early and cancelled orders. Then Kaypro released a machine with a bigger screen for $400 less. The final killer was cash flow. There was $150,000 worth of Osborne 1 motherboards lying around. Someone decided to complete them. That required replacing the worn out tooling for the box and ordering long lead time items like CRTs and disk drives. This tied up the company's capital for months at a time when "more Osborne 1's we cannot sell will be ready in three months" was not a good thing to say to anyone who might have lent them some cash.

        For a really spectacular and deliberate shotgun blast to the foot you should be looking at Stephen Elop's "Burning Platform" memo and subsequent catastrophes (not selling a product with excellent reviews and switching to an OS that required a CPU they could not build into products in their own factories).

    3. Eeep !

      Re: A generation ago

      Yes there are rememberers but it is not really relevant is it. Are you more than a bot commenting on "CEO" related topics?

  6. EastFinchleyite

    Uncharitable

    An unexpected 27% to 38% drop in the share price based on some loony comments rather than business performance? Hmmn....... Watch out to see if the price recovers and if it does who has bought shares at their lowest ebb.

    An uncharitable person may regard this as price manipulation. I couldn't possibly comment whether this is valid or not.

    1. Timo

      Re: Uncharitable

      Overstock is on the list of "most shorted stocks". It's the way to make money on the way down, betting that the stock price will fall.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Uncharitable

        The guy may be paranoid, but he does also have reasons. That "stock shorting" thing was one of the bigger blowups at Wikipedia back over 10 years ago when it turned out a "stock analyst" doing newpaper columns was also editing Overstock's, Byrne's and lots of other articles to reinforce his 'opinions'. Oh, and also the article on himself.

        I remember Mantanmoreland and his friends, and the damage he caused.

        Byrne sounds wacked. But he's been whacked a lot in the past.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Uncharitable

      Watch out to see if the price recovers and if it does who has bought shares at their lowest ebb.

      Yeah I blame George Soros [even if he wasn't directly involved]. You know, the same man who manipulated the GBP and broke the bank of England [and many others].

      Nothing like a short sale before some nasty stock manipulation via "press releases" like that... followed by a re-buy and 'wait for it to recover'.

      /me points out the icon. you're welcome.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Uncharitable

        Your blame George Soros although he wasn't directly involved? Because he took advantage of Bank of England and Government stupidity (just was Warren Buffett does) to make a gigantic profit when opportunity offered it to him? He did not 'manipulate' anything. Although of course 'manipulate' and 'not being directly involved' (and yet somehow mysteriously behind it all like a shadow power') and 'George Soros' all combine into the usual world-conspiracy-of-Jews that pops up whenever people hear the words 'stock market'.

        1. BillG
          WTF?

          Re: Uncharitable

          Your blame George Soros although he wasn't directly involved? Because he took advantage of Bank of England and Government stupidity (just was Warren Buffett does) to make a gigantic profit when opportunity offered it to him?

          The opportunity wasn't "offered to him". As I recall, as the rest of the world waited in anticipation of expecting Great Britain to adopt the Euro, Soros gambled the farm that they would not.

          It was a tremendous risk that if Soros lost would have severely damaged his empire. Instead, against all odds GB did not adopt the Euro as we all know, and Soros became obscenely wealthy.

          It's long been questioned whether Soros knew in advance because he was part of the decision.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: Uncharitable

            "Black Wednesday" was some four years before the euro was even announced, much less launched (which took another four years after that). There was not the slightest chance of Britain's joining it.

            The seeds of Black Wednesday were planted by Mrs T herself, when she chose to enter the ERM at a moment when the pound had suddenly - and transiently - blipped up in value. She did this quite deliberately, on the basis that a strong currency would continue to impose good monetarist discipline on the UK; but, once she'd gone, it turned out the country wasn't really up for that kind of "discipline" any more, and so it wasn't sustainable.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Uncharitable

              "Black Wednesday" was some four years before the euro was even announced

              Well, three-and-a-third (BW September '92, euro name announced December '95). And the idea of the euro, i.e. of European monetary unification, is in Maastricht, which was signed in February '92.

              But, yeah, Black Wednesday had nothing to do with the decision not to adopt the euro.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Uncharitable

              once she'd gone, it turned out the country wasn't really up for that kind of "discipline" any more

              Indeed. The vegetables revolted after she got savaged by a dead sheep.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not trolling

    What did he say that was wacky? Apart from calling the security services "men in black" (which could be said jokingly), and also the mention of "deep state", what is wrong with the general message?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: I'm not trolling

      The general message is that this has nothing to do with Overstock, is not something a CEO of a billion dollar company is supposed to say, and frankly, being part of an international conspiracy / spy ring is something that happens in books, not in real life.

      If Byrne was just another Twitter user, or had a blog like some other Jones, it would be inconsequential. But a CEO is supposed to be objective and rational, and nothing he said belongs to the world of reality.

      So there's a problem, and people who value their money are fleeing the scene.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: I'm not trolling

        ... people who value their money are fleeing the scene.

        Evidently.

        The guy may be or apparently is a bit off the rocker, we're not really in a position to know exactly what is going on here.

        But a question I do not see is this one: how well has overstock performed done in the past years and under his watch?

        Have a good week-end.

        O.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: I'm not trolling

        "not something a CEO of a billion dollar company is supposed to say,"

        Maybe it's the time people to say things they are not supposed to say. Even Presidents are doing it.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          That is not an example to follow

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Do people who are clearly off their rocker generally behave sensibly in not following the example of other people who are slearly off their rocker?

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Unhappy

              now you're confusing me

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            That is not an example to follow

            Oh, I don't know. It could be a useful signal to the market.

        2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: I'm not trolling

          "not supposed to say" suggests someone being muzzled or silenced by (for instance) political correctness. Perhaps better words would be 'not astute to say' or 'rather pointless to say' or some other phrase to mean that Byrne is not daring to name awkward or dangerous truths, but going off on one, because the rich and powerful seldom remember that they are not more important than they are.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm not trolling

          "Even Presidents are doing it."

          If you think about François Hollande, the last french president, you have no idea how his own political friends were devastated by all the shit he wrote in his book. Those things are no forgotten.

      3. Moosh
        Black Helicopters

        Re: I'm not trolling

        This post honestly reads like some sort of government damage-control effort.

        Repetition of its fictitious nature despite the fact that everyone should be well aware by now of what goes on behind the scenes and how ridiculous it is.

        People are fleeing because the CEO just outed a load of shit about the government. Not because what he said is outside the realms of possibility. Its not a "wow he's insane" thing but a "wow that company's going to be fucked and he'll be found dead; suicide by 2 gunshots to the back of the head while in his garage at home"

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: I'm not trolling

      It's totally off-programming. Usually, he rants and raves about "shorters" conspiring to tank the stock.

      1. tentimes

        Re: I'm not trolling

        Maybe this time it is him shorting the stock. This whole thing could be a stunt and he could have a $5M short in the works.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: I'm not trolling

          This whole thing could be a stunt and he could have a $5M short in the works.

          the S.E.C. monitors this kind of thing. If a corporate officer were to suddenly short stock right before it drops significantly, or BUY UP a bunch shortly before it takes a huge gain, the S.E.C. investigates whether or not insider information or stock price manipulation could have been involved. They're really VERY anal retentive about that sort of thing. If there was any dirty dealing, they'll find it. And as it affects a lot of people, they'd pass it along to a grand jury for an indictment. [or that's what they're SUPPOSED to do]

          yeah, new conspiracy: he's so involved in the deep state, they won't do that, he'll get off and they'll just make it like he's insane, and this profit becomes his new golden parachute... while the MIBs and the Deep State get their side-step distraction going to mask the REAL truth. Heh.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: I'm not trolling

            If there was any dirty dealing, they'll find it

            A dubious and unprovable proposition. Yes, often the SEC do identify insider trading, partly because the people who do it are often idiots with abysmal OPSEC. But we don't know how many instances they miss, because when people get away with it, it looks like normal trading. It's not like property theft where there's an unexplained absence of the property to serve as proxy evidence of the crime.

            Personally, I suspect Byrne was not involved in any stock-price-manipulation scheme here; it's too clumsy. I think he's genuinely deluded. But that's just a guess.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I'm not trolling

      The 'general message' was that he was personally involved in 2 events, cooperating with MIBs, and was offered up publicly like some kind of confession.

      First, the wall street+banking 2007-2009 crashing+bailouts and perhaps 'quantitative easing' [if i read the article correctly], and THEN the failed election meddling of 2016. So why put himself into the middle of a couple of infamous situations and insinuate the MIB's were working with him... and THEN "admit it" in public?

      Evidence is surfacing about "the deep state". Now that it's probably on the verge of being opened up so everyone can see it, this guy's pretty much inserting himself. If 6 months from now the evidence says he's NOT involved, it becomes "just more fake news" that distracts and distorts the facts. If it's the truth, it'll be in all of the documents that are released over time via the Freedom of Information Act [and all of the VERY interested parties that constantly ask for more and more documents to expose all of this with].

      Right now it looks (to me, and probably many others) like he's delusional.

      Well, I've known relatively harmless people that have some pretty wacky ideas before. Many are harmless though. Some of them are religious people. So god or angels (specifically named ones) tell them to get off of drugs or go to church, no harm there. Sometimes you got to say "well, if it's true that's great, and if it's not, no harm" and just accept it as "that person's perspective". Not being able to know what's going on inside their heads, it could simply be ESP and the subconscious mind trying to make sense of it. So the mind forms an artificial construct with familiar things (like named angels and/or god). but then again someone who was a drug addict is off of drugs now, and that's not a BAD thing. [so no need to judge or get the white coats with the arms tied in the back if these people are reasonably sane in everything ELSE in their lives. might as well leave them alone in that regard]

      Not quite the same as claiming you're in the middle of an MIB-related conspiracy, which unfortunately affects MORE than "just you".

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: I'm not trolling

        Now that it's probably on the verge of being opened up so everyone can see it

        And now we're in a fairy story.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I'm not trolling

        "the deep state"

        I remember when we just used to call it "the Old Boys network"..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor guy?

    Sounds like he was taken advantage of, and this has messed up his confidence and possibly understanding of the world.

    Or he was part of the taking advantage, and is trying to push a messed up view of the world on others.

    I guess we will never know either way.

  9. c1ue

    Ain't freedom of speech beautiful?

    This episode also highlights just how little stock price matters to a company that actually makes money.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Until the stock price drops so low that someone thinks you're a ripe takeover target, that's often true.

      If, however, large numbers of employees have stock and/or stock interests, or pension funds are linked to the shares, or they have the sort of investors who demand a replacement CEO every time the stock dips a bit (or even all of the above), you'll find they do actually care quite a bit about their stock price. You can usually spot those companies by the stock ticker displaying their own share price on the front page of their website...

  10. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Paranoia, aka survival instinct

    Maybe he's the only sane person in this article

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're everywhere.

    Even here.

  12. Peter Clarke 1
    Coat

    Not Totally Crazy

    He didn't mention going to The High Court to get money back for the Next Big Thing he bought for waaay over market price

  13. martinusher Silver badge

    Russian Spy?

    Repeating that nonsense about Ms Butina being a "Russian spy trying to infiltrate the NRA" suggests that the author of this piece might be the one who's wearing the tinfoil helmet.

    We know that she isn't a spy. At worst she's an "unregistered foreign agent" but even that's debatable. The most likely explanation for her state is that she got caught up in some anti-Russian scare, there was a lot of publicity and the relevant FBI personnel went into CYA mode.

    As for 'infiltrating' the NRA, this typically involves filling out a form and paying them a small fee. I used to get a lot mail shots inviting me to do this but they've dropped off in the last few years, probably a result of declining membership and so revenues and the target demographic not being reached by mail anymore.

    As for Mr. Byrne's statement, it is a bit unusual and I think it should not have gone out as a corporate communication -- its a private matter, not a corporate one. Given the rather Alice in Wonderland state of our domestic politics at the moment I wouldn't necessarily dismiss it out of hand, we get just as weird things from our CinC's tweets. You in the UK aren't that much better off, you're learning the same lesson that we are which is government seems to be entirely optional, it can go into major malfunction mode and everyone just keeps plodding along, hoping for the best.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Russian Spy?

      In the context of the NRA, I suspect the phrase target demographic needs qualification ...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Russian Spy?

        the NRA is mostly

        a) gun enthusiasts who simply like guns

        b) people into hunting and target shooting and things like that

        c) freedom-loving '2nd amendment' types that believe in defending yourself, because all that the gummint police can do in MANY circumstances is DRAW A CHALK LINE around your body and investigate the crime after you're ALREADY DEAD [in which case, carrying a firearm could prevent that last part, and make the PERPETRATOR DEAD instead]. So the FIRST line of defense is YOU. [and there should be NO restrictions on law abiding citizens defending themselves in a FREE society].

        Anyway, 'infiltration' into the NRA wouldn't work very well, even if it was tried.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Russian Spy?

          My understanding is that about 50% of all deads by gunshot int he USA are suicides. Abotu 30+% (working from memory) are domestic violence taken to murderous levels, then you ahve a largish perdentage of accidents (little kids killing their siblings, dads accidentally shooting their kids, fun-shooting gun owners not realisign a neighbour was sunbathing beyond the fence) and then gang-related murders.

          So the idea in (c) that citizens need to defend themselves against baddies because all the police can do is draw a chalk-line around you doesn't quite fit the facts. Being killed by an evil bad guy is about the least likely thing to happen to you.

          We have also seen recently that the 'good guys with guns' in El Paso and dayton could not have done anythign any faster than the police (trained shooters) could, as when assault weapons are used, it takes less time for the bad guy to kill 12+ or 20+ people than it takes to draw a gun out of a holster.

          The first line of defence is gun control. To deal with the nutters who want to shoot assault weapons into those they hate, to try and stop sales of guns to those who otherwise could be helped to get over whatever it is that wants them to commit suicide, to stop violent people from owning guns they are liable to grab and use in an argument, and to reduce the chance that little Johnny will play SWAT with a real gun against his little brother. That is to say, the actual real main peasons where guns are used to kill.

          1. Diogenes Silver badge

            Re: Russian Spy?

            If you call gang related murderd DV thats fine, personally i wouldn't Only 3% are not murder or suicide. That 3% are police shootings, and accidents

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Russian Spy?

      "We know that she isn't a spy. At worst she's an "unregistered foreign agent" but even that's debatable."

      A foreign agent is a spy. That's literally what it means. Spy is a colloquial term. In the same way that calling someone convicted of a crime a crook is accurate, but "being a crook" isn't actually a legal thing.

      As for debatable, she was prosecuted, plead guilty to be a foreign agent, and got sentenced to jail. In legal terms, there's no debate.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Russian Spy?

        In the US a "foreign agent" has a very specific meaning that's nothing to do with spying as we generally understand it. Although its technically illegal to act as an agent for a foreign government without registering with the State Department this is very rarely prosecuted and in this case the Russian government said she wasn't working for them in any capacity. (....and she wouldn't be spying because, well, there's nothing to spy on -- anyway, we've got the Espionage Act to cover that)

        As for pleading guilty that's meaningless, its just the quickest way for her to get out of the US. Its common practice here for prosecutors to pile on charges with the goal of coercing defendants to plead guilty in a plea deal. This practice wasn't done in the UK because there's the notion of 'taking into consideration', something that's unknown here -- every offense has a tariff and everything accumulates consecutively.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Russian Spy?

          "...and in this case the Russian government said she wasn't working for them in any capacity"

          Ahh, you should have said that at the beginning. If the Russian Government have clarified it then it does throw it all into doubt.

      2. jonathan 11

        Re: Russian Spy?

        Foreign agent just means someone working in one country at the direction of a different country. That includes diplomats, lobbyists, embassy drivers (although people don't call them that in normal conversation), businessmen (if they are working at the direction of the other country), and the like. They are only considered Spies if they are Secret foreign agents - secrecy makes the spy, not the 'being foreign' or 'being employed by another country'

  14. FelixReg

    Read the press release

    The press release is certainly shorter and more coherent than this article. The 3rd and last paragraph:

    "Having confirmed Ms. Carter’s two articles, I have fulfilled those citizenship obligations of which my Rabbi reminded me. I will speak no more on the subject. Instead, having lived in places lacking Rule of Law and having witnessed the consequences of its absence, I plan on sitting back and watching the United States Department of Justice re-establish Rule of Law in our country."

    The Reg's Kieren McCarthy is apparently upset by this.

  15. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    It's tricky

    It's tricky. The way this press release is phrased alone suggests to me the CEO is well on his way off the deep end.

    On the other hand -- this doesn't mean you can't run a mean business. McAfee Associates did fine under McAfee's tutelage (given his unorthodox behavior the last 20 years or so, I'm assuming he wasn't entirely orthodox when he was at McAffee Associates up through 1994 either...), and of course Howard Hughes made Hughes Corp quite successful partly due to unorthodox decisions.

    1. c1ue

      Re: It's tricky

      As far as I recall, John MacAfee left MacAfee Associated in 1994. If that's true, that's a good 16 years before they were bought by Intel.

      So hard to say whether John MacAfee and his antics were accompanied by shrewd corporate helmsmanship.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: It's tricky

      Howard Hughes

      Every time I see his name the line "there's Howard Hughes in blue suede shoes, smiling at the majorettes smoking Winston cigarettes" springs to mind.

      Yes, I was exposed to Genesis fairly early on in the development of my musical taste. And, looking at the genre listings of my musical choices my taste hasn't changed much.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    M.I.B.

    Given the recent events of the last few weeks in the US I don't know what to believe any more.

    The M.I.B. reference is actually quite fitting.

    In the movie with the same name, the Men in Black used the local grocery store rag for tips as to what was really going on behind the scenes.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119654/

    (Anon because I don't want to get labeled as a conspiracy theorist and put on some watch list by, er... *cough* M.I.B.)

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: M.I.B.

      From what we know about the small activist beer it takes to get the spooks here to take an interest I may well have a, slim, file. I’m a Left Wing Scottish Independence campaigner aligned to RIC (we don’t do memberships, we’re an anarcho-syndacist collective) and a paid up member of Scottish CND who want Blighty’s nuclear deterrent and associated hardware gone.

      So that is two existential threats to the UK and how it sees itself.

      It’s fun at meetings to muse who might be the getting payoffs from Special Branch for informing and what embellishments they’re putting on it since it’s rather mundane and very, very democratic and chock full of equality. During our indyref we even had the SWP on board, who behaved impeccably it has to be said. I’m on nodding terms with them, both of them.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: M.I.B.

      MIB's are real.

      (allegedly) the CIA "does things" to help prevent serious massive problems. When they fail, we get things like the 9/11 attack.

      Rarely things will be done by them TO the populous. Mostly it's done FOR the populous, though I expect that on occasion things have been done to bring individuals more power.

      Well, when you've been exposed to certain things in the military, and seen people react in a certain way when you say something or make reference to a friend or relative that's potentially involved in black ops or secret stuff, and who knows, maybe it gets CONFIRMED by someone RELIABLE? And then you perhaps have seen classified information that "was obtained" and you realize what had to be done to OBTAIN that, and you appreciate what these people do for your nation's security [and that of allies, as well] and you get a different perspective, and maybe are willing to say "well, as long as they're working FOR us, and not ON us, we should leave it be and NOT try to expose it...]

      and I'll leave it at that. [I was in the Navy in the 80's, and I saw and did 'things' some of which are written about in books, and that's all I'm gonna say at the moment - no conspiracies, just the cold war - been told "just keep walking, don't say anything" even]

      all that being said, though, a "deep state" that works for its own power has apparently existed for a while and is now being RIGHTFULLY exposed by actual evidence, not just some nutcase conspiracy theory.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: M.I.B.

        The Deep State is surely the Military-Industrial Complex, named by Eisenhower, and since WWII shaping the world for its own advantage. It involves the billionaires, the banks, the Senate, etc. And it's not deep. It's right out there in the open. I can't think of a worse conspiracy than the one we see every day.

      2. Marcus Fil
        Black Helicopters

        Re: M.I.B.

        Rarely am I on course to agree with you Mr. Bombastic (sic); PESTLE and the ramifications of the exposure of umcomfortable truths. The system (just about) manages to self-regulate largely keeping a lid on those things than cannot be trusted to politicians of any flavour. Paranoia is both a prudent state of mind and an occupational illness; it all depends on the measure - if you get to walk away to farm Alpacas or sweep roads then you got lucky.

  17. razorfishsl

    More like he drove the price down to do a short & buy back

  18. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
    Facepalm

    (naked) short selling?

    I've previously had some nice comments here from the person in question, but really now I'm wondering... what sort of "bath salts" is he ingesting?

    As far as conspiracy theories go, pointing to naked short selling is fair enough, but pointing to a "deep state" explanation for "something" (that may or may not have actually happened) ...

  19. Turbo Beholder

    Assuming he tweets for himself, perhaps.

    Otherwise… he won't be the first — remember an exxtra-woke tweet from McDonald's? The drawback of monkeys with keyboards: sooner or later they start flinging it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never ever…

    … have I double-checked so many comments if they're from amanfrommars.

  21. mr_souter_Working

    still better than Mike Lawrie

    all in all, i'd rather have Byrne running DXC than Mike Lawrie

    someone you categorically KNOW is a smart nutjob is better (in my opinion) than someone you merely suspect is an idiot nutjob.

  22. dbCooper

    The current price for Overstock may be generous regardless of who is CEO. Witness the present EPS of -4.75, yes that is negative EPS and has been for years.

  23. TeeCee Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    Oh dear.

    Sounds like he's fallen out of the giggle tree and hit every branch on the way down.

  24. imanidiot Silver badge
    Joke

    Nietzsche

    and the whole consciousness-expanding thing. Think William Blake, Nietzsche etc. copious amounts of psychoactive drugs.

    There, made it far more likely to be real!

    ==> If it wasn't obvious ==>

  25. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    My knowledge of Judaism is limited so please correct me here if I am wrong. I may be guilty of generalising and of stereotypes here.

    Is it possible for a gentile to become a member of the Jewish faith? I thought that one had to have a Jewish mother.

    I mention this because the name Byrne is very Irish and the Irish in America are famously Catholic.

    I just found it a bit odd that someone with a very Irish name would have a rabbi.

    1. MJB7 Bronze badge

      Re: Judaism

      Yes it is possible for a gentile to convert to Judaism (even Orthodox Judaism).

      The synagogue will actively discourage the convert (Judaism is *not* a proselytising religion), but it is possible. A friend of mine did so in order that her husband's children would be Jewish despite Hitler's best efforts (her MIL lost three out of four grandparents to the Holocaust). They are both atheists, but they still do the various feasts and festivals.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Is it possible for a gentile to become a member of the Jewish faith?

      Yes - they can become a proselyte. And you can very easily have a Jewish mother[1] and have a non-traditionally Jewish name..

      [1] There is a good reason why Jewishness is based on the mother - pre-DNA tests it wasn't always possible to determine who the father was but it's incredibly easy to determine who the mother was since they were the one that gave birth..

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        "it's incredibly easy to determine who the mother was since they were the one that gave birth."

        This has been so obvious to me since my early teens that I still cannot understand why inheritance down the male line began. It is utterly counter-intuitive, and has caused all sorts of harm to societies.

    3. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Sages and rabbis

      Actually, I was wondering whether this was a reference to Warren Buffett. The term "rabbi" is not always confined to the clergy--in certain government organizations it can be what the rest of us would call "mentor". But I guess it is hard to imagine Buffett advising Byrne.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good publicity as I never heard of overstock before

    After suffering that sort of health setback biking across america does seem a bit nutty.

  27. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Actually, this might be quite shrewd, now that I think about it.

    Instead of "Overstock CEO linked to convicted spy" we have "Overstock CEO goes a bit nutty, claims to possibly have been working with CIA to expose convicted spy". The former sounds all kinds of bad, the latter sounds... not quite as bad, but probably not criminal.

    PR master stroke? Or just bonkers? I can't decide. I think I need a good lie down after all that...

  28. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    A friend Of Trump

    As the modern expression has it

  29. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Looking forward to it

    Matt Damon in The Byrne Conspiracy.

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