Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is often in the news regarding his efforts to curtail injustice. These include his efforts to combat global poverty (through our Worldstock department and products), improve educational outcomes for the less fortunate (through his work with the late Milton Friedman and his support of Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation's school voucher initiative), battle the pernicious effect on America of Wall Street corruption in the form of naked short selling and collusion among hedge funds, prime brokers, and a few research analysts (as are detailed in lawsuits Overstock has filed against Gradient Analytics, Rocker Partners
& Wall Street's major prime brokers), and expose corruption in business journalism via a handful of shill journalists who seek to hijack social media's discourse regarding this scandal so that understanding does not form within the Blogosphere.
This page has been developed as a resource for those interested in poverty and social justice, educational reform, and corruption within Wall Street, financial journalism, and social media. We will add relevant media and articles from time to time. We welcome your comments or suggestions.
This suit alleges that the defendants, most of Wall Street's major brokerage houses, participated in a massive, illegal stock market manipulation scheme of selling short the company's stock with no intention of covering such orders with borrowed stock, as they are required to do, causing what are referred to as "fails to deliver"
(in effect, the creation of fake stock in the marketplace). The suit asserts that a persistent large number of failures to deliver have been generated and may, at times, have come to exceed Overstock's entire supply of outstanding shares.
Patrick Byrne created Worldstock, providing artisans in the world's poorest regions with opportunities to sell their unique creations to a wider variety of customers. Worldstock 's goal is to create jobs for tens of thousands of people throughout the world, thereby enabling them to help themselves, their villages
and their countries. Worldstock items are selected with sustainability in mind. These beautifully crafted products, from furniture to jewelry to clothing, are sold through Overstock.com at affordable prices, so the artisans can avoid expensive distribution channels while getting a larger share of the selling price.
Patrick Byrne is a member of the board of directors of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, a non-profit organization that was founded upon the ideals and theories of Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman and economist Rose D. Friedman. The organization's mission states that the best way to improve the
quality of elementary and secondary education is to give all parents the freedom to choose the schools that work best for their children.
Patrick Byrne is waging a fight with Wall Street over naked short selling. He believes that, through the practice of naked shorting, Wall Street is cheating Main Street America and destroying small companies for a profit. Byrne feels that the SEC is failing to protect retail investors and small companies because it has been captured by Wall Street, and that the New York financial press is
similarly co-opted. Byrne believes that the SEC's efforts to eliminate this abusive practice are falling short, not simply for Overstock (which has itself been on the Regulation SHO Threshold list for over two years), but in a way that creates the possibility of systemic risk for our financial world.
Overstock filed a lawsuit against Rocker Partners, a hedge fund, and Gradient Analytics, an independent research firm, in August 2005. We are suing the defendants for libel, unfair business practices and tortuous interference. This lawsuit claims that Rocker Partners, a hedge fund managed by David Rocker, paid Gradient Analytics, an independent research company, for a series of false and disparaging reports about Overstock, and that Gradient allowed Rocker to review and edit the so-called
"independent" reports before they released them. It also claims that Gradient timed the release of the reports so that Rocker could profit on trades, as could Gradient through hedge funds it secretly controlled. The Establishment press has tried to spin this case as being about free speech, but this argument has already been rejected by a California state trial judge (on all counts, 8-0), by a friend-of-the-court brief from the California attorney general, and, in a blistering decision, by the California Court of Appeals (3-0).
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