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Patrick M. Byrne

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Patrick M. Byrne is an American businessman, CEO of Overstock.comWikipedia's W.svg and libertarian kook.

Byrne does a lot of jawdroppingly weird stuff in the name of Overstock, and seems to be allowed to do so by the board as long as he keeps making money.

Naked shorting[edit]

In business naked short sellingWikipedia's W.svg is essentially the process of selling shares or assets without actually owning them. Of course accusing a person or company of naked shorting is a serious allegation, one that most people would not make without a lot of good evidence, but Patrick M. Byrne is not most people. Byrne has, through his company Overstock, filed two lawsuits against the Rocker Partners and the Equities Research Firm claiming that they both short sold his company and payed for negative press to artificially drive down prices of Overstock.com. As if that weren't enough Byrne also believes in a sort of banking conspiracy out to destroy his company. He has said, "there's been a plan since we were in our teens to destroy our stock, drive it down to $6--$10 ... and even a plan for how the company would then get whacked up." He has even referred to the leader of the conspiracy as the "sith lord", but for some reason he was unwilling to name any names[1].

Education policies[edit]

As a libertarian Patrick M. Byrne supports a number of questionable economic policies, including a restriction requiring all public schools to spend 65% of funds on "class education." Unfortunately librarians, school nurses, school lunches and bus drivers don't count as class education meaning that schools would have to cut a number of programs that largely benefit poorer students[2].

Also in the field of education Byrne has come out as a strong supporter of vouchers for private school education, strongly criticizing Jon Huntsman for not supporting the voucher program as much as Byrne had hoped [3].

Bitcoin[edit]

Byrne is also convinced that Bitcoin is the economic salvation of America.[4] Overstock was the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin, via a payment processor.[5] The company's Bitcoin holdings lost about $100,000 in 2015.[6] As of August 2018, Overstock's cryptocurrency subsidiary tZero is now worth more than Overstock itself,[7] which could be a bad sign for Overstock, or the sign of another cryptocurrency crash.

Other antics[edit]

Patrick Byrne is a notable gun nut. At one point he was arrested for trying to carry a loaded gun through airport security, Byrne claimed that the incident was purely accidental, when asked how he could accidentally put a gun in his bag he responded, "I keep the gun next to my bed every night".

References[edit]