Friday, October 28, 2005

Gomen nasai


“Gomen nasai”—from the Japanese meaning “I’m really sorry we missed another quarter, and it was sort of my fault but not really my fault, because we are doing things for the future, and I still think GAAP breakeven is possible, and Project Propeller is really cool, and really it’s the shorts fault.”

See also:

“Hideki Matsui”
“Kung Pao Chicken”

“Tora! Tora! Tora!”


Jeff Matthews
I Did Make That Up


© 2005 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations.

126 comments:

Its_strange said...

I thought CNBC completely failed. Lets see if the covering analysts do the same. ...

Its_strange said...

This is just great...OSTK is doing a sexy underpants something or other....just amazing

settlements said...

Only to stay fair and balanced Mr. Matthews:

SEC Queried Analysts Covering Overstock.com on Ties to Rocker
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has questioned three former employees of Gradient Analytics Inc. about claims their company conspired with hedge fund Rocker Partners LLP to issue research aimed at pushing down shares of Overstock.com.

The three men said in interviews that the agency queried them this month about statements they made under oath that Gradient, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based research firm, fired them after they asked about the arrangement with Rocker Partners. The statements, posted on the Web site of Salt Lake City, Utah-based Overstock.com, were used to amend a suit the company filed Aug. 11 against Gradient, Rocker Partners and its owner David Rocker.

``The SEC may be investigating this as a variation of the standard `bear raid,' where parties work to drive down a stock,'' said Donald Langevoort, a Georgetown University law professor and former SEC lawyer who isn't involved in the case. ``Even if what an analyst publishes is true, it may be fraud if he fails to disclose a third party's involvement.''

Chris Fischer said...

settlements-

And that has what to do with Overstock's business operations, it's quarter-after-quarter-after-quarter array of excuses for why losses are growing and not shrinking.

Jeff didn't say a word about share price.

Maybe the Sith Lord conspired with Oracle and TeraData to manipulate that price of the IT systems in order to drive up costs and lower Overstocks earnings?

SellToWhom said...

This is just priceless (from the OSTK earnings release):

Project Propeller's test results are extremely encouraging, but only rarely
has it been turned on because the A/B test system required to fine tune the
system has been low resolution and inconsistent.


Can anyone make any sense out of that?

Maybe the evil naked short/ barrons/dow jones/ wsj/ street.com/ hedge fund/ DTCC/ cbs marketwatch/sith lord/master mind conspiracy has caused the "low resolution" of the "a/b test system"? The horror!

Its_strange said...

i can't make any sense out of any of it . I mean Patrick said he was about to pull a rabbit out of a hat...Whats that ? Another Diamond deal ?

hundredyearstorm said...

The balance sheet is a disaster.

They've burned $210M year to date. Assume that the inventories are all clean at $94M, $20-$25M higher than Patrick had guided to(a big assumption), there was still a $6M increase in prepaid expenses, a $14M increase in Other long term assets and a $43M increase in PPE. I'm curious what these are and look forward to going through the 10-Q.

Why did $12M in capital lease obligations show up, from $1.2M at 12/31? I assume the building that is 3x as big as the old one...

They borrowed $4.3M against their credit facility up from 0.

They lost $16M in operating cash flow in Q3, and a total of $62M YTD.

And I love the $47.5M cash outlay to purchase call options.

The call has been subdued, but for those listening carefully, full of many laugh out loud comments from the good Dr.

settlements said...

chris,

two things

1. I find it amusing that Jeff does tout one side of the story and yet completely neglects when bad news hits the 'other side'. Do you not question why Jeff never revealed the Bloomberg article but did the call? Do you not find it odd that Overstock had to fire a mole within the ranks that fed information to the ---- short sellers? I wonder if they shorted on info from the mole that it would be 'insider trading'.

2. I bring it up because Jeff brought up short sellers in his presentation of material.

Now you want to shoot every disagreeable messenger - go ahead - I just find it odd that matthews here only presents teh side that is favorable to 'his boys' and never presents the unfavorable side of things as they happen.

gvtucker said...

It should be rather instructive to Pat Byrne to note that in his conference call, he took full blame for what was truly a hideous quarter. He didn't spend any time mentioning the lawsuit, short sellers, naked short sales, or Sith Lords.

And his stock has rallied 10% since.

I do think there's a relationship there.

hundredyearstorm said...

Anyone else notice how Patrick admitted they could face a "cash crunch" next August when they need to bring in inventory for the fall and holiday selling season. He said there were a couple things they can do to get around it though. Like what? Sell equity? Raise debt? Defer payables? Decrease marketing? None of those seem very palatable to me...

Its_strange said...

I recall Patrick mentioning a possible cash crunch , yes. I put that in a long list of trouble this company might see.

Sam S. Park said...

I wonder how much money ostk spends on PR. Since Jeff and Pat duked it out on cbnc, ostk's price has tanked. Some of these counter arguments to Jeff sound very PRish. It’s like Jeff has started a fire… someone go try to put it out. But then again, Jeff and others were just pointing out the obvious operating problems. No conspiracies… just facts and analyses. Corporations must be scared of blogs like that of Jeff’s, but investors probably love it. Things are definitely changing.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,
"Dr." Byrne is a moron and a fraud. I hope your position works out for you on this one. He is clearly backed into a corner now because he has illustrated that he controls the float and it's clear that the valuation is far too high. His lockup of all available shares through his cabal is clearly supporting an unsustainable free market valuation.
Yes, I know I'm just parroting what you've been indicating for some time now. However, his comment about installing an ERP system and then resorting to doing things manually AND not being able to list products on his site blew me away.
You would think that the CEO of a publicly traded eCommerce site would know how to maintain the company's ability to post products on their site.
Un-fricking-believable.
Find me some shares to short!

Its_strange said...

Well did the analysts upgrade ? Increase thier price target ? ....Increase thier numbers for 06 ? Sad, ain't it ?

Rocker or Gradient answer the suit yet ?

BelowTheCrowd said...

HundredYearStorm,

While I'm no fan of OSTK (nor really an enemy, I have no interest), in all fairness it is quite normal for capital lease obligations to go up significantly when a company moves and signs a new lease. More than likely, the space is bigger and more expensive, but also the term of the lease is much longer than the one that they gave up.

I know both buildings, they're practically across the street from each other and probably owned/managed by the same interests (I'll need to pay attention next time I'm there). More than likely, they rolled their old obligation up into a new, bigger, longer-term one.

SelltoWhom,

Since we don't know what "Project Propeller" is, we can't possibly guess as to what kind of test equipment might be necessary to validate it.

It sounds weirdly suspicious to me, because he sounds like he's describing some kind of new technology, which requires some kind of specialized test equipment to validate. It doesn't sound like he's talking about any kind of normal IT initiative -- those are usually benchmarked by throughput, increased busienss efficiencies and reduced costs, which are not things you need specialized test equipment to measure. One can surmise that either OSTK has gone into the business of developing new technologies which require specialized test equipment (which would seem to be an odd area for a retailer to be in) or that it is complete BS.

I have spent much of my life developing financial and CRM systems used by brick-and-mortar and online retailers, and also used to work for one of the two largest providers of test equipment to the world (Won't mention the name, but the one that isn't TEK...), so I have some knowledge of such things. I have never seen those two worlds intersect. As such, I suspect BS.

market crasher said...

Goldman offered me 50k today that I could borrow. I got too busy with other things but probably worked out as the stock rallied and I did nothing. I haven't ever shorted this stock but considering everything eventually it's lower. I am sure Dr. Byrne will call GS and figure out how to secure this 50k.

American_Sucker said...

Jeff,

in Japanese, "gomen nasai" is a formal expression of deep regret. I don't see how it relates to Hedeki Matsui, Kung Pao chicken, and tora tora tora. Unless of course, you were making another one of your juvenile and condescending attempts at humor. I hope that if you have any Japanese or Chinese clients that they read your blog, I'm sure they will appreciate the high regard you have for them.

Aaron Koral said...

After briefly reading OSTK's press release of their 3rd qtr earnings, the first thought which came to mind is that they nearly triple the amount spent on upgrading ERP software and got three quarters of losses in EPS to show for it. Guess they should have used software from SAP to manage their inventory problems...

The other thing that is interesting about OSTK is how much of their total revenue (nearly 59% in the 3rd qtr) comes from their fulfillment partners. Since sales from OSTK's fulfillment partners have been "slow out of the gate" this year due to OSTK's ERP problems, one has to wonder how much OSTK will have to spend in marketing expenses to continue keeping its existing fulfillment partners "happy" (if you could call them that right now - I could be wrong though....)

padawancowboy said...

american sucker: exactly right.

Jeff, wordly and clever fellow that he is, didn't even bother to check the correct spelling of "gomen nasai."

"Goman" means 50,000. Perhaps Jeff was alluding to the amount by which his fund has shrunk?

Its_strange said...

gvtucker, i think the call was rigged. i think all of thier calls are rigged. i think the buying we saw during the conference call was "arranged" days before the conference call . I think Mary Helburns ( suing Gradient and Rocker ) NFI yahoo board post number 362299 just about says it all . ..And while i drive a fork lift for a living and can't help but wonder why Patrick went into this low margin liquidation business in the first place. I mean wasn't he working for Buffet ? Doesn't Buffet want high margin businesses that do or sell stuff people want ? My guess is the business is dying while the story is getting all the growth.

Its_strange said...

And before i go off to work .With all the brains and connections and access Patrick has why did he pick this business with its low margins and not something that makes real money ? ....Nothing here makes any sense to me.

Have the covering analysts had anything to say yet ?

Has Gradient or Rocker answered the suit yet ?

UrsaMajor245 said...

It's my understanding that Mr. Byrne went to several media sources before he found one (Bloomberg) who was willing to listen to his tall stories about the SEC "probing" Gradient. No other journalist would print that story since they could find NO corroboration for it. That's a legal term for proof.

I find it most amusing that Mr. Byrne's father showed up to take command right before a nasty earnings report. I wonder what he thinks of his child's vivid imagination.

Jeff Matthews said...

To all:

Sounds to me like--

1. Dad got tired of losing money buying stock to squeeze the shorts.
2. Meanwhile, the foreign currency hedge didn't hedge, FarenHype 911 bombed at the box office, Project Ocean sprung a leak, Project Propeller is a-twirling, Project Rocket flamed out, the patient rejected the "IT transplant", and the Sith Lord made the company a laughing-stock on CNBC.
3. So Dad brought in adult supervision. Now Junior can pursue his "jihad" and the company can pursue a business model.

Is that the gist of it?

Its_strange said...

Patrick said the IT transplant troubles weren't the softwares fault . He said he " bit off more technology projects than my colleagues could chew" ..So what does Patrick do ? He gives IT head Schwegman a few months off . ..Yep, i'm a idiot. Patrick also claims he isn't concerned with stock price but spends $47,000 on call options. Yep, i'm a idiot.

credibility said...

Doctor Patrick "WE haven't been using our brains" Byrne can now be called: COACH BYRNE

Go get them Knute!

http://www.startupnation.com/pages/newsroom/PR_2005_0812.asp

credibility said...

you can listen to the Coach's first interveiw @


http://www.startupnation.com/pages/radio/RD_July16_2005.asp

Its_strange said...

Ursamajor245...So you think Patrick made that SEC interviewing those ex Gradient people story up ! ? ! ..That certainly is interesting . When does ostk lawyers split ? They can't afford getting tied up in another bogus lawsuit. ( The recent silica case in front of Judge Jack )

Its_strange said...

Jeff, What are you thinking ? Patrick either leaves OSTK or becomes nothing but a figure head . The suit against Rocker and Gradiant goes away while Patrick goes after the naked shorters ? OSTK folds up all the Patrick projects and tries to slow the burn ? . ....Hard for me to see why a guy in his 70's would want to deal with this miss ...Beats me

Value Guy said...

Small correction: the japanese expression is 'gomen nasai'.

UrsaMajor245 said...

It's strange:

I think Patrick wants to believe the SEC believes his tall tales. I believe guys like Patrick provide amusement for the SEC.

There is no corroboration that the SEC is probing Gradient per my sources.

Its_strange said...

StarTribune

" SEC Activities May be a Bit More Open, Thanks to Lawsuit "

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1069/5696184.html

This could prove to be very important .

Its_strange said...

StarTribune

" SEC Activities May Be a Bit More Open, Thanks to Lawsuit" .

SECinsights ( Herb would site them now and than ) won a important legal victory the other day. I tried posting this along with the link 3 times perhaps now it will work.

This SECinsight info is serious stuff

credibility said...

http://shopping.yahoo.com/merchrating/user_rv.html?merchant_id=1000264

credibility said...

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=172901477

Overstock also migrated from an Oracle 9i database to Oracle 10g and shifted its reporting from operational systems to a data warehouse from Terradata, a division of NCR Corp.

"You don't do several major IT projects simultaneously," said AMR analyst Jim Shepherd. "It typically happens because you don't test and phase in the projects and systems slow enough. That is what gets companies into trouble, not the actual software."

Oracle had told Overstock it would take between 12 and 18 months to install its financial package. Overstock didn't listen and did it in five and a half months.

Other IT projects going on at the same time included moving some applications from running on Microsoft Windows to open source operating platforms Red Hat and Linux Novell Suse. There also were inefficiencies in Overstocks internally developed search engine and analytics software known internally as Propeller.

credibility said...

Jeff, I hope the links that I have shared this weekend are helpful.
Here is a customer service nightmare someone experienced just this week. I think what is important to note here is that these customers were so unhappy that they went to great lengths to actually post their stories on the net.


http://jimbobalog.blogspot.com/2005/10/overstockcom-answer-to-phone-trees.html

credibility said...

Patrick is the best _________.

“When we meet someone with real brains and energy and the right character, we hire them even without giving them a job.”
Byrne describes one executive who was hired after taking a year off to ski in Park City. “She was basically a ski bum,” he said. But Byrne noted that she was also a Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth and had worked at Goldman Sachs. “I hired her with no job and said, ‘Drift around for a couple of months and figure out what you’re going to do.’” The woman went on to become VP of Marketing, said Byrne, noting that many of the people he’s hired this way have proved themselves natural leaders in the
company.

http://www.redcoatpublishing.com/features/f_07_04_Cover.asp

Its_strange said...

Great post credibility ! lol !

BelowTheCrowd said...

Sadly, the Information Week story is something that we see far too often in IT.

A top exec reads a magazine article, and gets what one of my mentors refered to as a "HBI" -- a half-baked idea. It is then presented to an IT or project management type with a deadline for completion, before any real analysis is done.

More often than not, the same exec has more than one HBI. And the risk of one poorly defined project is multiplied by the risks of many others. A really bad situation becomes inevitable.

This is why having a sharp, experienced CIO who understands the risks of such projects and is willing and able to say "no." Having a young guy with no experience doing these kinds of projects tends to really stoke a CEO's ego, because all he hears is "yes! Great idea! We're on it!" He never hears that a project failure could kill the business, or any other suggestions of caution.

Happens all the time. In most organizations, the inexperienced guy gets caught and maybe learns the lessons before he moves up to the top. Occasionally you get a situation like this, where the CEO decides he likes somebody, and gives him responsibility he has no training for. (The other link, about Byrne's hiring practices tends to suggest that this is the case here.) The results are predictable.

-btc

padawancowboy said...

...and then Jeff slyly and without comment changed the title of his piece from "Goman nasai" to "Gomen nasai," hoping no one would notice.

Well done, Jeff, well done.

Jeff Matthews said...

"padawancowboy": Actually, lamebrain, "Value Guy" kindly provided a correction and I made the correction, hoping everybody would notice. You need a life.

My thanks to "Value Guy" for correcting my Japanese.

Thanks also to "Credibility" for excellent links. The "ski bum" piece is wonderful, as are the links regarding customer service problems.

Here's another excellent site devoted to Overstock's affiliates, with some very interesting real-life examples of the problems some were having with the technology "transplant":

http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=61866

As always, informed content is always welcome. Yahoo message board type stuff from the likes of "padawancowboy" are not.

For the record, I was informed that late Friday afternoon Overstock cancelled its scheduled appearance at the upcoming Lehman Brothers Small Cap Conference in San Diego.

credibility said...

from the UN-CEO story i was going to point this out but chose the other caption. But I said why not post this confession.
“The shareholders are at the top of the pyramid. They hire a board of directors to represent them, and the board of directors hires a CEO to manage the shareholders’ capital,


Well I guess he admits that there is a pyramid and that the shareholders (of which he is the largest) sits a the top.

credibility said...

another priceless one was:

"CEO is not a KING"

I guess that there needed to be some clarification for him to teach this to a flock.

credibility said...
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credibility said...
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Catablast! Media Group said...

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is hands down the most eccentric, oddball persona on Wall Street.

Caught in a catatonic state of corporate paranoia, CEO Pat Byrne has repeatedly claimed that there is a "conspiracy" against him and his company, an online liquidator that is mired in operational woes.

Overstock recently filed an amended complaint in California State Superior Court charging Rocker (a well known shortseller) along with the Arizona research firm Gradient Analytics, claiming that Rocker was behind "a wide-scale predatory campaign of knowingly distributing false, and overtly biased, written reports about Overstock (OSTK) to disparage Overstock and enrich themselves."

On an acrimonious 8/11 conference call, Byrne powerpointed a network of more than two dozen fund managers, journalists, law firms and regulatory agencies he claimed were conspiring to drive Overstock's shares to the ground.

Here's the well known kicker: Byrne claimed in the same conference call that Rocker and other alleged conspirators were taking directions from a mastermind that Byrne called a "Sith Lord," a reference to a villain in the "Star Wars" movies.

The Sith Lord?

It gets better -- A recent note to shareholders had Byrne coughing up even more humorous nonsense: "Gomen nasai. Q3 was rough. My bad. I bit off more technology projects than my colleagues could chew. The last bite, an ERP implementation, was one bite too many, and we choked on it. "

In other words: If CNBC announces another live interview with Byrne, you'll want to make sure the TIVO is on.

On a more serious note, managerial eccentricity and oddball behavior should raise red flags, or yellow ones at the very least.

Pat Byrne seems to be very good at scapegoating externalities and dressing his company's ($650 million dollar market value) shortcomings in convoluted tropes and pop culture innuendo.

Share are suffering; a quick glance at OSTK's daily chart this morning revealed a major downtrend.

We're forecasting further erosion in Overstock.com's shares until further notice.

Catablast! Media Group said...

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is hands down the most eccentric, oddball persona on Wall Street.

Caught in a catatonic state of corporate paranoia, CEO Pat Byrne has repeatedly claimed that there is a "conspiracy" against him and his company, an online liquidator that is mired in operational woes.

Overstock recently filed an amended complaint in California State Superior Court charging Rocker (a well known shortseller) along with the Arizona research firm Gradient Analytics, claiming that Rocker was behind "a wide-scale predatory campaign of knowingly distributing false, and overtly biased, written reports about Overstock (OSTK) to disparage Overstock and enrich themselves."

On an acrimonious 8/11 conference call, Byrne powerpointed a network of more than two dozen fund managers, journalists, law firms and regulatory agencies he claimed were conspiring to drive Overstock's shares to the ground.

Here's the well known kicker: Byrne claimed in the same conference call that Rocker and other alleged conspirators were taking directions from a mastermind that Byrne called a "Sith Lord," a reference to a villain in the "Star Wars" movies.

The Sith Lord?

It gets better -- A recent note to shareholders had Byrne coughing up even more humorous nonsense: "Gomen nasai. Q3 was rough. My bad. I bit off more technology projects than my colleagues could chew. The last bite, an ERP implementation, was one bite too many, and we choked on it. "

In other words: If CNBC announces another live interview with Byrne, you'll want to make sure the TIVO is on.

On a more serious note, managerial eccentricity and oddball behavior should raise red flags, or yellow ones at the very least.

Pat Byrne seems to be very good at scapegoating externalities and dressing his company's ($650 million dollar market value) shortcomings in convoluted tropes and pop culture innuendo.

Share are suffering; a quick glance at OSTK's daily chart this morning revealed a major downtrend.

We're forecasting further erosion in Overstock.com's shares until further notice.

credibility said...
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credibility said...
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credibility said...

http://internetretailer.com/article.asp?id=16566

Overstock, for instance, uses ­performance-based bonuses and stock options to keep its search engine marketing professionals content.


Sundahl says. "There is a huge rush in ­looking at the quarterly financials and knowing that you had an impact."

What does he rush to look at?

credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim said...

Nice work. I'm counting around a dozen congratulatory messages from credibility, an equal number from its_strange....wow, half the posts are from two people who are filled with joyous admiration for whatever kool aid Jeff is selling. All willing to forget the gaffs of depicting a VP as a stripper, the shrinking hedge fund mystery and Jeff's unwillingess to directly answer direct questions about his fund's eroding value...

Nice lovefest you all have going here, or should I say you three or four?

I'm guessing everyone here is short OSTK given the jubilation over every piece of questionable news.

Is Gradient the subject of an SEC investigatiion? Fair question. It is a yes or a no. Anyone know the answer? I have a source that says they are, and it is real.

Jeff? Answer this. Why is your fund smaller than it was three years ago, and why won't you answer straight, simple questions with straight answers?

And for everyone. Why do you think that the same 3 or 4 people have to post repetitively reinforcing statements to Jeff's every utterance? Why are his blunders and dishonesties forgotten, and requests for his performance shrugged off, almost as though it is paramount for the discussion to stay "on point" for whatever negative Jeff is attempting to spin; usually OSTK related?

I'd like to know whether his fund is bigger or smaller than it was 3 years ago. I'd like to know if his stock insights have resulted in a net shrinkage or increase in his fund size since 2002, as a test of his believability and his worth. I'd like to know why he won't address this.

I'm not a Yahoo message board posting type, but I'm also not an idiot, and after reading the last 8 of Jeff's blog pieces on OSTK, I smell a rat, and I'm calling it.

So how bout it Jeff? Straight answer?

Jeff Matthews said...

"Tim": um, my fund is not "smaller than it was three years ago," as you and your knuckle-headed, lost-my-shirt-in-Overstock pals are suggesting.

Good luck with it.

credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
credibility said...

After reading the money.cnn story today I noticed that caption from Byrne regarding the dog food anf I couldn't remember where I read that before.
Here's a cut and paste from Bob O'Brien that sounds very similar:

Where does Grandma who now is eating Alpo benefit from a centi-millionaire hedge fund manager having his illegal trading strategy kept from public scrutiny?


What a coincidence.
I am speechless.

Its_strange said...

This is beyond bizarre...Its a must read and Patrick can't last much longer...Stromy too !

http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/01/news/midcaps/overstock_fortune_111405/

BelowTheCrowd said...

I have no knowledge of Jeff's fund.

But I do have knowledge of how funds grow and shrink. And more often than not, such growth or shrinkage depends on the needs and desires of the partners and general partner in particular and are not always reflective of performance.

Many funds that significantly outperform do not grow, because the general partner caps the fund size at a certain level. If the fund grows bigger than the general partner desires, the fund simply returns profits to the limited partners. This often occurs when a manager wants to keep his portfolio down to a managable number of positions and wants each position to be of a tradable size.

Some funds shrink when a major partner (sometimes one of the general partners) decides to move on for one reason or another and the capital is not immediately replaced. Often such moves have nothing to do with performance. Retirement, job changes and other life changes can have a big influence, especially at funds catering to high net worth individuals rather than institutions.

And yes, some funds shrink because they lose money. As Jim Cramer has noted accurately on many occasions, these funds tend not to stick around for more than a year or so after the loss is suffered. It's a brutal business that way.

So, since Jeff's fund has not disappeared, I'll presume that he's doing OK, if not great. While it's not taking much to ourperform the index this year, there are a lot of firms I'm aware of that have made bad bets and will probably fold in the near future.

-btc

BelowTheCrowd said...

And one of the Sith Lord's conspiracy comments:

http://www.fortune.com/fortune/investing/articles/0,15114,1124557,00.html

Some of you will remember Jeff Skilling trashing her for "not understanding" Enron...

-btc

Sam S. Park said...

btc,

That Fortune article by Bethany McLean was interesting to say the least. I thought that I was reading an excerpt from a John Grisham novel.

Its_strange said...

Any lawyers in the house ? What do ya think of Patrick sending Stormy over to Rockers office ? What was that all about ? This is so beyond strange...

NASDAQ, nice job !

BelowTheCrowd said...

Well, I think it's odd, but it's hardly illegal. Hedge funds certainly try to get to people inside companies they're investigating and I can't really see the illegality of using your own employees to try to figure out what the hedge funds are doing or why. So long as she didn't provide misleading or proprietary information, it would be legal.

The fact that he spoke with Bethany McLean and apologized over his former comments impresses me. At the very least, he's not completely off his rocker (no pun intended) though perhaps a bit too thin skinned for CEO of a public company.

That said, the fact that he's not a bad guy does not necessarily translate into him being a good CEO or OSTK being a good company. Lots of great companies have been run by nasty people, and lots of great people have run bad companies into the ground.

I think the last page or so of the story gets into the real problem with this company, from an investment perspective. For better or worse it's unpredictable, and the CEO's strategy has changed more than once. Is he focused on getting profitable as fast as possible? Is he going to continue delaying profitablity in order to grow revenues? What's the end game? And when is he going to change his mind again?

For better or worse, the answers to those questions remain unclear. Until the management clarifies where they are going and why you should own the stock, smart investors are going to continue bailing out and shying away.

credibility said...

He compared the market to a manic-depressive partner of a barbershop.

"One day, your partner will walk in and think that cutting hair is the best job ever, and he'll offer to buy your half of the business for a lot more than it's worth," he said. "The next day, he'll come in and think it's the worst business ever and try to convince you to sell. You've got to learn to ignore the market."



http://www.dailyutahchronicle.com/media/paper244/news/2001/11/02/News/Overstock.com.Ceo.Speaks.At.U-138132.shtml

credibility said...

http://www.wrhambrecht.com/tradfo/ostk200411/ostk20041117.pdf

credibility said...

notice on the bottom of page s-27
in the prospectus:

THe short position may be....a naked short position.
In a naked short position, the number of shares involved is greater than the number of shares in the over-allotment option


S-28 If the underwriters sell more shares thnacould be covered by the over allotment option, a naked short position, the position can only be closed out by buying shares in the open market. A naked short position more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there could be downward pressure on the price of the shares in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in the offering.


Well I guess Naked Short Selling is Legal.

Its_strange said...

Hey OSTK , Hey Wallstreet , What else is there ? You just don't turn 42 years old and start acting like nut case. You just don't turn 42 years old and start lying and bullying people . Patrick's history must be filled with this kind of stuff. Starting years and years ago . .........This McLean story is just amazing. ...

Please take note Byrne got word that former employees were talking for money and he sent Stormy in to Rockers office hoping he could learn something. You recall Patrick claimed he fired someone who was a "mole" for the hedge funds ? ...i would LOVE to know the facts and what this mole has to say ..

Its_strange said...

And another thought before i go to work....Does the recent earnings report and McLean story equal ostk looking for a settlement ? Looking to get out of this stupid lawsuit ??

Am i the only who thinks the SEC has to be looking at OSTK ?

credibility said...

I don't think the market is the manic depressive partner, I think its the barber.



The barbershop story sounds like a liquidation technique of the 18 DotCom Garage Sales.

credibility said...

It would be helpful to find out if the underwriters were forced to naked short?(not that there is anything wrong with that.)

If there was another underwriting done, let's say this month, would the Underwriter still have the option of naked shorting this SECURITY? I only ask because It sounds like that would compound the CEOs problem more than it is.

credibility said...

Can you imagine your child comes home from the university that you're paying $20,000 a year for and tells you : "Daddy guess want I learned today about the market and barbershops from Professor Byrne."

If any parents of those students are reading this, I apoligize and I do not mean to poke fun at this. I know that it is not a laughing matter when children who are barely young enough to vote are being taught that these are the Business Ethics of the market.

Where are the Board of Directors of that University? Where is the chair of the Business department?

credibility said...

Is this still true?
At Stanford University,
Dr. Patrick sits on the
Center on Ethics External Advisory Board?


Parents reading this are already on the phone with the DEAN.


http://ethics.stanford.edu/external_board.htm

BelowTheCrowd said...

Credibility,

Virtually all offerings allow the underwriters a lot of lattitude in what they do to simultaneously meet demand and maintain a stable, orderly market after the offering. The ability to naked short in those circumstances is one of the exceptions to the rules against naked shorting. I believe such naked shorts need to be bought in relatively soon after the offering is concluded.

Market makers and NYSE specialists -- who are required to maintain a market for all their securities at all times -- are also allowed to naked short when they have no actual securities to sell and can't get a borrow. There is also a requirement for covering the short relatively quickly. The idea is to be a shock absorber when very short term disruptions occur and to spread the impact of a short-term shock over the course of a few days.

If these activities are done in a legitimate manner -- and my experience with market-makers suggests they generally are -- then the shorts should never be out there for more than a few days.

-btc

DaleW said...

Did anyone read the article in which Byrne believes Bethany McLean referred to Byrne's cancer in a "smirky" way? I just did and I can't see how he got there. Then he tearfully apologizes for the ridiculous email? What a freak. This thing is going to be a single digit stock within a realizable future. Byrne obviously has emotional and behavioral problems -- not exactly the type of person you want in a problemed company with empirial ambitions, a terrible "store," and a worsening balance sheet. Ambition and inability to reverse course will get the best of Byrne, Overstock, and/or both.

Sam S. Park said...

Yeah, that was that Fortune article linked by btc. It's definitely a good read. I couldn't believe the email he had sent to Ms. McLean about giving Goldman traders, for lack of a better word, oral pleasure (not the word he used in the email). The best part was how he sarcastically asked that doing so wasn't paying off. Oh man, no movie or book is as good as the reality of this whole thing. Insults, conspiracies, secret plots... you have all the components of a great thriller novel in the making.

American_Sucker said...

"You just don't turn 42 years old and start lying and bullying people . Patrick's history must be filled with this kind of stuff."


Its_strange,

I don't know how old Jeff Matthews is, but did you draw the same conclusion about his lying and bullying when he went after Stormy Simon in an attempt to publicly besmirch her reputation. Don't you recall that Jeff falsely accused her of being a stripper?

Now I'm not defending Patrick's behavior, but at least he apologized to Ms. McLean for the content of his private e-mail to her. I have yet to hear Jeff Matthews attempt to make amends for the lie that he published regarding Ms. Simon.

credibility said...

I noticed on the Stanford University link that Dr. Byrne's bio mentions Byrne was named to Business Week's list of the 25 most influential people in e-Business.

Others that you may remember from that list:

Business Week
OCTOBER 1, 2002
The changes of fortune took their toll on last year's BusinessWeek e.biz 25 list of the most influential people in the industry. Jeffrey K. Skilling, then-CEO of Enron Corp. won his place on the list by building an online energy trading operation. Now he spends his days pondering his fate in the wake of his company's ignominious demise. Thomas Middelhoff, former CEO of Bertelsmann, has also exited his company. Now the company is retreating from his Web initiatives, including his risky bet on file-sharing pioneer Napster and his pursuit of an online book retailing empire. Stuart Wolff of HomeStore.com (HOMS ) is gone, too -- forced out after the online realtor made huge earnings restatements that left it with billions in losses.

credibility said...

"I don't believe in branding," says Byrne. "Branding is what happens when you give a marketing guy a million dollars and your sales don't go up. You ask him what happened and he says, ÔWell, I got you some branding.'"

"Patrick doesn't like people with marketing degrees and graphs and theories," said Burden.


http://www2.tooeletranscript.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=6112&Itemid=

credibility said...

if this BURDEN guy is correct, that statement should go over real well at STANFORD's next fundraiser.


"We were in this 500-person union hall in Redding, Penn., and everyone wanted to rip my head off," said Byrne. "After the third person threatened me I said, ÔOkay, I'll step outside right now, and if anyone can take me, I'll concede this issue." There were plenty of takers, but the president of the Union Hall stepped up and stopped it.

He was also mentored by "a funny man who'd come to the house with a beat-up suitcase and off-the-rack suits." The man turned out to be investing legend Warren Buffett.

Sure, Byrne admits that his father's business success (as CEO of GEICO, Fireman's Fund Insurance, and FundAmerica) and being coached by Buffett gave him what he calls "a lot of tailwind in life,"



Nothing like dropping a name around!

credibility said...

his executive assistant, Kirstie Burden and local PR man Alan Seko (Selph and Smith ) have more than enough Byrne stories to fill the passing minutes. There’s the one about how he took a blind date flying in his plane in Florida and had to crash land into the ocean. There are the ones about how he can memorize a deck of cards and recite them back to you, in order, two hours later.

"Back in 1999 I had venture capitalists tell me I had to spend $10 to $30 million per warehouse," Byrne said. "They were MBAs who’d never run anything, much less a warehouse. If you have a dog’s mess of a business, then throwing a bunch of automation at it just makes everything worse. But that’s the MBA solution. Most of those guys would’ve learned a lot more if they’d run 7-Elevens instead of going to business school."




2003
Overstock.com
An IPO Path Less Taken
By Bill Kerig, 6/16/2003 01:14:09 PM MT
Overstock’s warehouse, which could fit eight football fields......There’s not a robot or conveyor belt in sight. "This is high-touch, low-tech," said Byrne. "But our cost of moving and handling an item is about 30 cents."
Byrne had a board of directors that would fly in anyone’s book. It included Gordon Macklin, former chairman of Hambrecht & Quist, and the former chairman and CEO of NASDAQ; Garry Kennedy, former president of Oracle USA; and his father, Jack Byrne. Yet his managment team didn’t have the same depth.

"An MBA will tell you to change your team right away," he said. "And we did have some of that pressure. A banker from a very fancy bank tried to get us to take a very fancy CFO from a very well-known company. The banker went through all the guy’s credentials and we said: ‘We dance with the one who brought us. We’ll stick with the guy we’ve got.’"

Which is a call for another Buffettism.

"Buffett says, ‘The sure way to failure is to put too much emphasis on what bankers think of you,’" said Byrne. "Run the company the way you see fit and convince bankers with your results, not your resumes."




"The Wall Street system is corrupt," Byrne said, "and they weren’t sure I’d play their game."

credibility said...

You Can’t Believe it’s America

The "game" Byrne refers to is something he insists is a massive payola scheme for the big players. He described it this way:

"Suppose you drive a $30,000 Lexus and you hire me to go sell it. Then I sell it to Joe and I come back to you and say, ‘Sorry I could only get ten grand for it.’ Then you find out that Joe flipped it the next day for thirty grand. Now, have I done a good job for you? Are you happy with me? No.

"You asked me to get a good price for the car and I got a third of what I could’ve raised for you. Now, suppose it turns out that Joe’s actually my cousin and I went over to Joe’s and mowed his lawn and he paid me $10,000 for it. Well, now you’d understand what had really gone on. He’d given me a kickback. That’s Wall Street banking.

"When a company hires a bank to sell a chunk of itself and the next day the stock triples, why aren’t the companies screaming about the money they left on the table?"

Because they’re going over to mow Joe’s lawn?

"Exactly. They deliberately under-price the stock and shovel it to their friends at certain pension funds who get the quick ride up then flip it in the first week. It’s understood they have to shovel 40 or 50 percent back to the investment banks that let them do it. Every time a large bank took out one of the Internet blockbusters you could check a week or two later and find that those same pension funds were trading shares of some unrelated instrument and paying two dollars a share commission. You and I can get on Ameritrade and pay a penny a share per trade, so why are the experts paying excess commissions?"

Because they’re paying their kickback?

"Yes. Putting an IPO onto the market at a deliberately undervalued price creates guaranteed profits, and any time you have that set-up you’re going to have kickbacks. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Manhattan or Paraguay. I have yet to meet anyone in the banking industry who will deny that this is the way it works. To fix Wall Street you have to start by fixing the IPO allocation process."



In February 2002 Overstock.com filed its preliminary prospectus with the SEC. At the time, the NASDAQ had fallen from 2200 to 1600. About a month later Overstock started to get its filings back from the SEC.
"This is a pretty ugly three week period," said Byrne. "You start getting comments back from the SEC examiners. These are hard-working young lawyers, and they have a very legitimate job trying to protect the public from fraud, but man, they are sure picky

"I don’t want to sound like a do-gooder," said Byrne. "I’m a rapacious capitalist 23 hours a day, but for one hour a day I’d like to do something good. It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to match up the business side up my life with the philosophy I spent years studying. Worldstock lets me synthesize my fractured interests."

http://www.wasatchdigitaliq.com/parser.php?nav=article&article_id=50&page_num=3&PHPSESSID=eb59f1c35d50e0dfa7cd3322b5f7832a

credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BelowTheCrowd said...

"Run the company the way you see fit and convince bankers with your results, not your resumes."

Unless the person you're hiring has a Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth and used to work for the top investment bank on the street, in which case hire her for the names on her resume, forget about whether she has any skills or experience that really matter, and let her hang around for a few months until she finds something that she wants to do.

Don't get me wrong, I've got an Ivy degree myself, as well as one from a top-20 biz school, but the reality is that when it comes to hiring people more than a couple of years out of school, I find such stuff to be fairly irrelevant.

But of course, my business card doesn't insist on being "BelowTheCrowd, MBA." Byrne, we know, insists on the "Doctor" part and apparently is equally impressed with such irrelevancy from others too.

Its_strange said...

Sucker. Jeff found the Stormy story in Findlaw and posted it. I also did. When it was pointed out to him the Findlaw the story was wrong he removed it. But you know this don't you ? And if you want real nonsense to read go check out Phil's ( Bob O'Brien ) blog . He has been very busy the last 24 hours throwing out one canard after another. . I asked him why no mention of OSTK lastest earnings report and why he reviewed his own book and he removed the post.

padawancowboy said...

Jeff,

What do you make of the Byrnes' inability to purchase more shares?

http://bobosrevenge.blogspot.com/

pc

settlements said...

Jeff,

While you and your "integrity minded" cohorts continue to berate Overstock.com for IT problems it appears what problems Overstock had was not necessarily unusual.

http://www.plantautomation.com/content/news/article.asp?docid=%7b20374E94-4557-436C-9F61-BA8E6F5934C1%7d&VNETCOOKIE=NO

Just to keep things in a more fair and objective view.

settlements said...

How To Implement A Warehouse Management System
11/3/2005
There have been many well-publicized Warehouse Management System (WMS) failures in recent years. Nike, Trends Lines, Sainsbury, MFI Furniture, Hewlett-Packard, Molnlycke Health Care, Heinz Portion Pac and many others have attracted the wrong kind of headlines on this issue.

Jeff Matthews said...

Yes, many companies have had IT implementation problems.

But only one of them, as far as I know, have a CEO who bragged about his company's great IT programming prowess only months before announcing a major IT "transplant."

[October 2004: "We practice something called extreme programming, where we have very small teams of two or three people taking on enormous projects and it seems to be working."

April 2005: "Shawn has a term—decrapitate. And our internal systems, to be honest, are decrapitating."]

And only one of these companies with IT upgrade problems, as far as I know, have called their CIO "the best CIO in America" even as the IT upgrade was hitting the wall, and shortly before the CIO was replaced.

And only one of them have a CEO who appeared on CNBC on August 17th, 2005 and said the company was growing to "basically a billion" dollars in sales in 2005-- and a mere four weeks later, on September 16th, issued a press release disclosing that IT problems had restricted inventory uploading for the previous "five weeks"--which appears to include the very date he was appearing on CNBC.

Diferent topic: for the record, I did not call Stormy Simon an exotic dancer--the Utah Supreme Court document available on "Findlaw.com" summarizing her part in a murder trial did. A revised version of that document, without the mistaken characterization, was subsequently referenced on this blog and all prior references removed.

Patrick Byrne appears to be the one most interested in keeping that terrible mistake going, by referring to it on television (his CNBC appearance) and, I believe, in subsequent Motley Fool postings.

His efforts at righteous indignation appears to be undermined by his recent boast to Fortune magazine that Stormy Simon had "shown him [David Rocker] some thigh" during a failed attempt to somehow entrap his nemesis.

I do not know of any CEO who would say that one of his top executives had shown anybody "some thigh."

Don said...

I don't know if anybody has posted a link to an August 3 article from CIO Insight that discusses Overstock's IT. There is one thing in there that's pretty interesting given the issues around the believability of Patrick Byrne. Shawn Schwegman boasts of Overstock installing a Teradyne system in 70 days that he said would take anybody else between 9 and 12 months to install. Later in the article a Teradyne VP said that they originally said 9 to 12 months basaed on a broader scope, but the scope was then reduced and Teradyne estimated the revised project would take 70 days.

Asked about the discrepancy between those two stories, Schwegman said the truth was "a margin between the two stories".

Schwegman is the CIO who apparently alternates between working so many hours that he sleeps on a cot in his office and taking extended vacations without any firm commitment on when or if he's coming back.

Here's the link to the article:

http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,1843529,00.asp

I thought it was unusual that the Teradyne VP would directly contradict a customer in a magazine article. Something tells me he must not be planning on doing more business with Overstock.

BelowTheCrowd said...

It is certainly true that many companies have had IT failures. I've been involved in several myself. Everybody who's been in the business for any length of time has has similar experiences.

What I find unique about OSTK is not that they had a project go bad. It's that their project portfolio management was so bad that they found themselves doing multiple high-risk projects all at once, compounding the risks of any single failure. Any seasoned It person knows you just don't do that.

This is far from routine and is reflective of the lack of proper due diligence and risk analysis at the highest levels of IT and corporate management.

-btc

Don said...

By the way, make that "Teradata" instead of "Teradyne" in my prior message. Brain cramp.

American_Sucker said...

"Diferent topic: for the record, I did not call Stormy Simon an exotic dancer--the Utah Supreme Court document available on "Findlaw.com" summarizing her part in a murder trial did."


Nice try Jeff,
below is a response to a poster on this very blog who questioned your assertion that Ms. Simon was stripper.


""mfairview": I have proof they are the same person, and if you Overstockians ever got off your rear ends and did some work you could do the same. All it took was a simple phone call. But, what the heck, it's easier to sit there and post all day on the message boards than do real work."


By the way, your claim that Patrick is the one that has perpetuated this myth is ridiculous. You put it out there on your blog and now it is all over the internet. In fact, some of the same people I've seen supporting your drivel here, still refer to Ms. Simon as "whore", "stripper", "exotic dancer", etc., in their posts on the Yahoo message boards.

Great work Jeff!

Its_strange said...

Patrick sending Stormy into Rockers office tells me Patrick has ALREADY contacted some movie people. He certainly shows little interest in running a business . And i wonder if the script will compare the 3rd quarter earnings press release and the 3rd quarter 10Q .

credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Matthews said...

Nice try, "American Sucker," but wrong.

That post you quote was about confirming whether the "Stormy Simon" who had testified in the David Mead murder trial was the same Stormy Simon as the Overstock Senior VP whom Patrick Byrne seemed to rely on.

And they were indeed the same Stormy Simon.

It was not about whether Stormy Simon was an "exotic dancer" as she had been identified in one version of the court summary.

As soon as the corrected version was made known to me I removed all reference to it. Patrick Byrne is the one who used the term "stripper" on television, and in subsequent internet posts.

The fact is Stormy testified in a murder trial about her relationship with Mead, who was married and apparently planning to kill his wife.

From the Utah Supreme Court opinion: "On separate occasions, Mead had spoken with three people, Winneteka Walls, Stormy Simon, and Mead's cousin, James Hendrix, about killing his wife."

Quite a guy, that David Mead.

So get off your high horse about Stormy Simon. You don't care what anybody calls her--and I find it hard to believe your own personal hero does, either.

Otherwise, he would not talk about Stormy Simon showing "some thigh" to the Fortune Magazine reporter.

Imagine what would happen if Jeff Immelt talked like that about a key member of GE's senior management!

Good luck with it.

credibility said...

Did this have anything to do with Dr. Byrne's appointment to the Stanford's Advisory Board in June 2005:

The Center also received its first two major gifts. The most substantial was a $1 million donation ....in professional ethics and public service. The donor, Patrick Byrne, is a CEO .... and we will find some suitable way of honoring his extraordinary generosity next fall.

we have established an external advisory board as well, and recruited an extremely distinguished membership. It currently includes .. Patrick Byrne.



http://ethics.stanford.edu/newsletter/June/index.html

credibility said...

Bipolar Disorder
Manic-Depressive Illness

Characteristics of the Illness

"delirious" or psychotic mania: severe overactivity, hostile attitude, assaultiveness(reading,PA), paranoid delusions(Sith Lords) or hallucinations

Feelings
irritability, excessive anger over trivial things, overreacting to stimuli,hostile

Thoughts
inflated self-esteem, grandiosity, thinking one is more powerful than one really is

ideas pour in at an incredible pace and mental associations after associations occur so that speech can be full of jokes, plays on words and amusing irrelevancies

misinterpretation of events, distortion of the meaning of ordinary comments

poor judgment, one will probably not recognize that one is ill and is apt to refuse treatment, will blame others for things that go wrong

loss of touch with reality - hearing voices (hallucinations) or having strange ideas (delusions) about being persecuted, controlled

Behaviour
involvement in grandiose money making schemes

compulsive desire to be socially involved prompting telephone calls to friends at all hours of the night often to discuss plans

overspending, giving money away,

socially intrusive, headstrong, targeting the self-esteem of others,

may want sexual intercourse several times a day, may pick up partners indiscriminately (blind dates on airplanes comes to mind)

Chris Fischer said...

You Overstockians are really hilarious. You'll dig up ANYTHING to try to prove Jeff wrong about some inconsequential detail about Overstock.

Since I started reading this blog, Jeff has basically been saying that Overstock has a terrible business model, and its CEO is a pathelogical liar/excuse maker.

And guess what guys? He's been RIGHT. Overstock has completely missed estimates for how many quarters now? Losses are growing. You'd expect a stock like that to go down - especially after an unjustified runup last year after Patrick convinced Wall St (for a few weeks anyhow) that Overstock was going to steal away Ebay's business. But oh, I forgot. It's the naked shorts fault for the decline in share price.

And Patrick has blamed all these problems on everything from IT outages to the Pope. It can't be a fundamental business problem. Heavens no.

But hey, whatever keeps you Overstockians minds off of how much money you've already lost. For the record, I have no position in the stock.

credibility said...

A possible clue to the "Sith Lord"
Read what "Southie"(Sharon) had to say in this thread:

http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?t=6405&sid=d2d73bc057bbc010fc5aad017c2d34c7

hundredyearstorm said...

Overstock's customer service line hangs up on consumers
Call centers go dead for the holidays

By Ashlee Vance in Mountain View
Published Friday 4th November 2005 19:11 GMT

A week after Overstock.com blamed a bad software rollout for its swelling third quarter loss, the company continues to suffer from massive technology problems.

Overstock's customer service line hangs up on consumers who try to navigate their way through the painful menus. Once customers press a button to reach a service representative, the line goes dead. It's a charming way to deal with complaints.

"IT is looking into that," one representative told us after our fifth attempt to get through worked. "There is something wrong with the phones."

We'll say. This problem has been going on for more than a week. It's symptomatic of the huge IT failings that have crippled the online seller, including its inability to track orders or packages. Rivals such as Amazon.com and eBay would likely tremble in horror if they provided such bad service.

Overstock's President, however, has simply chalked the gaffes up to being "his bad."

The complaints against Overstock have started to pile up en masse on chat boards. A poor reputation is hardly something the company needs during the holiday season as it tries to make up for $14.2m loss last quarter

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/04/overstock_phones_down/

credibility said...

customer complaints at consumer affairs:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/overstock.html

credibility said...

A follow up from the funny NJ guy blog complaint

http://jimbobalog.blogspot.com/

Its_strange said...

Sending Simon into Rockers office is beyond dumb . Thier lawsuit is over but that isn't what this is about anyway. Phil has been outlining what i believe is a book / script on his website / blog . Sending Simon over to Rocker is about that, the script . Patrick has been waisting his time and stockholder money with the hopes he and Phil can create this novel based on a "true story" . Phil ( already has two books under his belt ) is busy writing it now. Patrick with produce and perhaps play a part in it. ..BTW , Phil knows the movie making business as well. ..Go review Phils past comments on his site . He clearly isn't interested in OSTK . He never posted one word about those 3rd quarter earning . Its all cloak and dagger stuff . Stuff made for the make believe world of Hollywood . Sending this kid Simon into Rockers office thinking he could bag this big brained seasoned pro was the tip off. Its all about the book.

When the stockholders realize what going on hear the lawsuits will truely break ground

American_Sucker said...

"Jeff Matthews said...
"Nice try, "American Sucker," but wrong.
That post you quote was about confirming whether the "Stormy Simon" who had testified in the David Mead murder trial was the same Stormy Simon as the Overstock Senior VP whom Patrick Byrne seemed to rely on.
And they were indeed the same Stormy Simon.
It was not about whether Stormy Simon was an "exotic dancer" as she had been identified in one version of the court summary.
As soon as the corrected version was made known to me I removed all reference to it. Patrick Byrne is the one who used the term "stripper" on television, and in subsequent internet posts."



Oh really Jeff,

At 8:19 am on August 12th, just one hour after you published your story "The CEO, the “Exotic Dancer” and the Lawsuit", mfairview
posted this entry to your blog.



"mfairview said...
BTW Jeff- It's a bit specious to relate the two Stormy Simon w/o proof they are indeed the same person. Having lived in NYC for several years, I have come across more coke-head-prostitute using brokers then I'd care to admit.
However, all this, has little to do with the lawsuit at hand."



At 3:36 pm in the afternoon on that same day, you responded to mfairview with this post.



"Jeff Matthews said...
"mfairview": I have proof they are the same person, and if you Overstockians ever got off your rear ends and did some work you could do the same. All it took was a simple phone call. But, what the heck, it's easier to sit there and post all day on the message boards than do real work."



It wasn't until three days later, that you posted the following entry stating that you had made a mistake and were amending your story.



"Jeff Matthews said...
"And "Bob O'Brien" is absolutely right: that reference to her alleged occupation does not appear in the version he cites, while the remainder of the language otherwise is largely the same as in "FindLaw".
Furthermore, in The Salt Lake Tribune dating back to the time of the trial, she is identified as "never" having been an exotic dancer."
"I am withdrawing the "FindLaw" reference immediately"



Jeff, if at the time you discovered your mistake you had issued a heartfelt apology to Ms. Simon, you might have been able to help mitigate some of the damage that your story has done to her reputation.

Sadly, you have decided that your best course of action is to dodge accountability for your mistake by being less than honest, and blame others for the fact that references to Ms. Simon being a former "exotic dancer" have proliferated around the internet and throughout the media.

Why am I not surprised?



P.S. Jeff, this post is a factual response to your previous post, please don't remove it.

Thank you.

Dan said...

So if what American Sucker is saying is true... Overstock.com is a great company with great fundamentals and everyone who is not long or positive about this company is in on it together and hates America.

American_Sucker said...

"Dan said...
So if what American Sucker is saying is true... Overstock.com is a great company with great fundamentals and everyone who is not long or positive about this company is in on it together and hates America."


Dan,

I just re-read my post and I don't see anything in it refering to Overstock.com's fundamentals or people hating America.

Jeff Matthews said...

"American Sucker":

'Sadly, you have decided that your best course of action is to dodge accountability for your mistake by being less than honest, and blame others for the fact that references to Ms. Simon being a former "exotic dancer" have proliferated around the internet and throughout the media.'
+++

Well, the Utah Supreme Court issued the document identifying Stormy Simon as having been working as "an exotic dancer."

And that document was available on Findlaw.com.

So, yes, they were responsible for the document being available on the internet.

And I removed all mention of it the minute the revised documents were made available on this blog.

It's unfortunate Patrick Byrne repeated the slur on CNBC and in his posts. Seems to me that that moved its "proliferation" well beyond the internet.

And he didn't bolster his righteous indignation over this mistaken characterization by telling Fortune Magazine that she showed "some thigh" recently.

Seems like you and your message board pals are keeping the original mistake going by posting incessantly about it, for whatever reason.

Here, we have moved on. And therefore any future comments mentioning that term will be deleted.

Its_strange said...

Think when Patrick asked Simon to show "some thigh" he also told her he would make her a star ? ...

Its all about the book

Its_strange said...

You know i'm wondering if OSTK offered Gradient/ Rocker to drop the suit if they agreed not to sue ? ...That Simon nonsense is just to dump to have a jury learn of it

Its_strange said...

As i read it Gradient and Rocker have 30 days to answer the OSTK suit . A copy must go to OSTK and the court . That 30 days is about up and i can't wait to read what they have to say to Patrick and his cronies . And atleast Phil can continue with his book .

Its_strange said...

Patrick sends Simon into Rockers office....Well now i understand why Patricks life long lawyers ( Bracewell & Giuliani ) aren't handling the case. Its time to get real Wallstreet.

Its_strange said...

The National Coalition Against Naked Shorting ( NCANS ) claims to be a bi-partisan advocacy group . Why was Phil and Mary ( founders of NCANS ) looking for people to join the OSTK suit against Gradient and Rocker when the suit has zero to do with naked shorting ? I can't see how anyone can read Phil's blog and commments on the NCANS site without concluding the site and Patrick's funding of it is scam to promote a book by these people .

credibility said...

a Phil Saunder's special

http://travelingdrunk.net/stories/18/nigerian-scammer-baiting

the best scammer is the best scam baiter.

credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
credibility said...

This reputation isn't going to help their auction site grow.

tapcollectibles4u
Report



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 49

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:36 am Post subject:

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I agree Paul
Overstock has just about run me off there site,with this attitude.
On the home page of auctions there the top seller.
please there the top lister not even close to the top seller.
they get special treatment And I can prove it.
I bought something from them the auction was for 3 they sent one i emailed them 6 times it was over a week before they would even email me back so after talking with a few of the other dealers here on overstock i left them a negative (which i hate to do)
then they emailed me back sent the other 2 coins I then told them since they sent the coins i would ask overstock to remove the negative they told me they ALREADY had it removed.
and they did it.
Case in point
I recieved a negative from a guy said he never got it.
I supplied a tracking number which showed that it was delivered,But was told by overstock They would have to contact him and ask if ok to remove it.
NO ONE ASKED ME.
When I called Overstock they said "oh that was a mistake we should not have removed it"
I was born during the day yes it just was not yesterday.
I'm sure this will be taken off for dissing the big lister.


http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?t=10603&sid=a3284e097d8185041a52d2afddacc8a7

credibility said...

HOT! HOT!


sanders



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 18

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:19 pm Post subject: Re: Overstock Commercials & STR

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O is just a little too weird.
It seeems that their VP of techie stuff is now gone which
is probably a good thing. And then there is that business
of him selling his stock before the rest of the world knew
their IT structure was a mess and not working.
In this post from the fool.com Patrick explains the sale
by stating that the kid needed some money to buy a home.
I dunno--he's 30, single, made $175,000 a year base salary, was living
in a motel for 5 years, and he couldn't swing a down payment?
Housing prices must be really high in Salt Lake City. :)
It's all kind of insulting to our intelligence.
Sanders

D) IT? Stuff happens. Shawn is awesome, and got us through a massive re-architecture over the last two years. First, he got us through a period when our then current systems were redlining so badly we were in danger of imploding. Second, he got us onto a set of systems that scale horizontally and vertically for the foreseeable future (see my Q2 conference call for greater detail). Third, we had reached the point where our code writing was log-jammed: it was taking longer and longer to add new features besides so much of the code was just hard-wired patches. This is not completely fixed yet, incidentally: still, large elements of our code base have gotten transformed, made modular, upgraded, or been replaced by professional third party packages. Not bad for two years' work. And not bad for a tiny fraction of the cost of our competitors.
That said, Shawn ahs been begging to step down for a year, either to go back into business development or take a leave of absence. I described in my Q2 call that there was one more large package to be delivered, probably in August: he delivered it and left for a vacation that might have stretched out to a couple of months. At that time I appointed Sam Peterson Acting CIO, thinking we would sort it all out when Shawn returned. In fact, however, the last package did not really spin up as well as we had hoped, and after a few weeks Shawn cancelled his leave to come back and help. He has been here a few weeks, things are much better (albeit not completely resolved), and so he has taken a leave of absence. Sam is CIO (although, since we eschew "C" titles here, officially it is "SVP Technology"). I do have a non-IT mission for Shawn that will keep until he returns, if he decides to return: he has put in 5 hard years working for Overstock and is due a rest.
Since our executives rarely if ever sell stock, and since I keep buying it, the miscreants claim that there is some kind of "blood oath" among us not to sell stock. Shawn in fact has only bought stock, except for the time he exercises options to buy a car, and the time he exercised some to get $50k to fund a small restaurant in his hometown. Yet Shawn met a girl in Europe and wanted her to come back with him to the USA when he was done his vacation. He needed money to move out of the Marriott Residence Inn (where has lived for 5 years) to buy a home and her a car. So he sold 2,700 shares, some or all of which were shares that he had personally bought in the open market at $11 a couple years ago. This leaves him with about 60,000 options (if memory serves), at least half of which have vested and which he could have cashed in for half a million to a million, but which he choose not to do. He got off the plane and placed an order to sell some shares because our blackout period was about to go into effect (September 15), so he could have the funds to move out of the Marriott and find a home when his gal showed up. He placed the order before even being back in the office, and before he was aware of any inventory uploads or marketing blitz the following Friday.
The reason Shawn sold when he did, then, was that we have about the most restrictive blackout period in corporate America, and if he did not do it then he would not have been able to sell a share until late October or early November; he had a gal moving over from England, and did not want to start off with her in the same Marriott room he has been living for five years; and he was not aware of quite what was going on in the office. That said, Shawn has now split again, and does not expect to come back.

http://www.powersellersunite.com/archive.php/o_t__t_2211__overstock-commercials-and-str.html

credibility said...

more..........

sanders



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 18

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:02 pm Post subject: Re: Overstock Commercials & STR

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Granny,
Because of the IT problems, they were unable to add $30 million in inventory to the shopping site for 5 weeks. (Also, The IT upgrades that didn't work cost millions of dollars in shareholder money).

Schwegman was in a unique position to know that the stuff
didn't work and that it would affect sales which could affect
stock prices. Insider info. The press picked up on the sale
and are speculating about the timing of Schwegman's sale of
the stock.

Here's some other weird stuff about Patrick planting rumors
that he himself is gay and on cocaine. I don't know what any of this
has to do with running a company. I like the guy but it is baffling.

He is also very confrontational & snotty on the boards. Would
never get acceped by TOASA. :)
Sanders

credibility said...

Auctions are in trouble


tuckerbunny2



Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Pennsylvania
Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:33 pm Post subject: Re: Loyalty Leaders

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Back in the day, DH worked for a company that instead of giving raises, propped up the ego by raising your title. Folks could brag they got a promotion to VP or Senior VP, CEO ~you get the idea. What it amounted to was more work, more responsibility, new title but NO extra money. I learned early on to steer clear of folks that cater to my ego over what I need.

jmho it's pretty obvious O is out of ideas. A year & many titles later, the bluff is up. Saddens me to say it, I thought O had the best shot at taking on ebay.

Good luck to you elgato, let us know how the sales are

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LurkeyLou



Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 286
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:09 pm Post subject: Re: Loyalty Leaders

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amen, t-bunny!

I did a little enlightning research at O a few months ago. It explained loud and clear why these titles are so important to this company, as well as the reason that chaos reigns supreme.

It's the age demographic. Status, titles, those sorts of things, are more important to a higher majority of people of a certain age group. All of the registered O members that I could find and every single one that I've ever spoken with, fall into this age group: 20 - 30 years old.

While status symbols are important across every age group, a higher percentage of 20 - 30 year olds strive to project a successful status with visual cues, and labels are important part of the formula.

I've been irritated by the constant chaos at O. They start off in one direction and it's as if someone yells "Hey! Look what I found!" and everyone abandons projects to go play with the new thing. Priorities change on a whim and knee jerk reactions are a common occurance. Wants are frequently addressed before needs.

I looked up Holly's profile after reading the reason she wanted to institute the TM/BS. From her profile, I accessed feedback. From the feedback, I accessed other employees and their feedback and followed this trail around for a little while.

I suspect that until the youth and vitality of the auction division of this company is tempered with maturity and experience, sellers will continue to find the course terribly bumpy.

In the meantime, Byron made an announcement regarding advertising:
http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?t=10156

credibility said...

LurkeyLou



Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 286
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:27 am Post subject: Re: Loyalty Leaders

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wphamilton wrote (View Post): › docWrite("quote")
On the other hand they did remove my respectful question posted earlier in Holly's Notes forum asking about the intended direction of Overstock going into the fall season ...

Regarding the auction management tools ... I have a small confession. I have fully automated tools right now for managing Overstock Auctions, integrated with my desktop application. Listing, auction management, invoices, emails, shipping, integration with paypal and endicia, the whole kit and kaboodle and it works with Overstock. The thing is, it's a kludge since I have to use the buggy csv download, "scrape" the buggy html pages and link into Olister.

I'd offered to provide the Overstock community these tools - free - if Overstock would release access to their API (with which I wouldn't need the kludges). They always chose not to (in fact simply ignoring my public offer) ... I think there's a conclusion to be drawn there regarding what tools Overstock intends the small seller to have access to ...


Overstock will allow users access to the tools that they have an affiliate relationship with.

Those 3rd party links, like ChannelAdvisor and others with id numbers and "idenifying" information are affiliate links - Overstock realizes a revenue from member activity with these providers.

Overstock is not going to cut off this revenue stream. They've deleted your post? I'm not surprised.

If I had to choose which is less evil: 'Bay or O-Stock, I choose 'Bay.

I understand capitalisam, we're all here to make a buck. But there's a real difference in the way that these two companies operate.

'Bay is right up front about how they're going to take your money, and you actually get sales, decent software and other conveniences in exchange.

O-Stock is underhanded and dirty. They'll take $$ in any way that they can get it and we get squat in return. Buggy software, broken promises and a tab at the back of the site. They sweet talk to our face while their greasy hands slip around taking every dime in any way that they can get it. From listing fees, from our sales, from our activity w/ 3rd party providers - which they basically force some people to - and through customers that we send to the site and they convert to retail at the door.

Did it start out this way? No, I don't think so. I think it began as a pretty good idea. They provide an auction platform which would increase items available on the site and bring new customers. This would benefit current customers with additional selections and introduce them to auction shopping. And, it would introduce an auction market to bargain bin up scale shopping. Not a bad idea.

When did it go wrong? When they opened the auction doors. I was listing there last November. The site was unavailable for much of the day for 3 - 4 weeks. They weren't prepared for the traffic. They had to look at one another and say "Dang, that's a lot of people. Imagine if we could get them to buy one thing a week from us."

So now they have it set up so that nearly every interaction that you have with the site results in revenue for them. Which is fine. What's not fine is pretending that the company 1. gives a flying rats @$$ about creating a "better" community/auction site and 2. not being up front: Look, were not going to fix the stuff, you need to find 3rd party. And please use ours, it's revenue and helps pay for the site.

Members that are hoping to see Overstock make a big difference on the auction scene will continue to be disappointed.

CrystalStar warned me about O-Auctions 6 months ago. I chose to buy into their pretty talk, I really, really want another playa' on the auction scene.

When you do a pros and cons sheet for the past year with this venue, it really is a loosing proposition for most sellers. A few will make a couple of dollars, some might break even, but the majority of sellers will have abysmal results.

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sanders



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 18

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:27 pm Post subject: Re: Loyalty Leaders

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And now auction listings aren't all loading properly.

Looks like they're too busy working on the shopping
site to give even basic functionality to auctions.

Guess the snow-boarding techies & management
don't care that this is the beginning of the most
important selling season of the year.

Is this company really committed to doing auctions?



Or is it some fluffy bit of spin Patrick can add to
the Overstock story for the Wall Street Folks?


People will only buy into b.s. for so long.

The lack of real concern for sellers' needs & businesses is troubling.


http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?t=10223&start=0&sid=0463068b0c05f545a22d3c030035e13c
Sanders

credibility said...

teresa008



Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 248
Location: Washington state
Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:20 pm Post subject: Re: Loyalty Leaders

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It's definitely not you who's changed, suze. I'm left wondering if the whole purpose of overstuck auctions wasn't misrepresented from the beginning. It's pretty clear that they don't care how many of us leave now that we've gotten them a big enough name that everyone's heard of them, well...... at least the auction sellers anyway. They've gotten a few of the bigger guys to try them out and given them enough incentive to stick around for a while, so why would they still need us?? I'm really starting to wonder though, like a few other people, if the purpose of the whole thing wasn't just to get more of the retail market share for the other side. :x :(

credibility said...

WOW!




elgato



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 1373
Location: TEXAS
Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:02 pm Post subject: Re: Loyalty Leaders

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Hi ya granny, it's good to see you here once again!...

To answer your question, "Where have all of my favorite sellers gone?"...
Most have made a new home at TAM, though some are still wondering around the net in search of a good alternative to ebay and overstock...

I personally just started to list on ebay again and have been very happy with results so far, but hate their fees...

Overstock has produced NOTHING for the past summer and I cannot see paying their fees for little or NO results...When my auctions end soon, I'm out of there!...
Overstock had a good thing going, yet chose to listen to a few small-time, kiss-arses, and decided to make amends with the TM/BS with the silly toasa thing...Huge joke!...
There is little or no traffic at the O and I would be surprised to see them among the top auction sites within the next 36 months...

This is the O's main thread at psunite for publicity thru out the net, yet no one from their staff comes to let us know what is going on...Why?...Because there is nothing going on when refering to auctions!...Remember, it's all about the O..(retail)...

Overstock/auctions is dead and gone folks!...It might take time for some to realize this, but they are yesterdays news...

elgato

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http://www.powersellersunite.com/archive.php/o_t__t_2012__start_25__index.html

credibility said...

The press is starting to call them on their blarney and spin.
No matter how elegantly or intelligently Patrick phrases it,
b.s. is b.s.

And the public is a lot smarter than these elitist kids think we are. But you don't need a P.H.D. to see that auctions has no selection and no buyers. Whatever New Economy tactics they're using ain't working.
Sanders

credibility said...

The_High_and_Mighty


Posts: 44

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:25 pm Post subject: When the boss is away :shock:

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I'm a little leary about this Patrick Byrnes on a "leave". After observing
and listening to stock shows, I cannot help but wonder ~ why would someone take a leave during the beginning point of a critical holiday
sales?

I cannot help but wonder in regards to the Media, the questions and
observations and factual findings have still been left unanswered.

The smooth start of Overstock Auctions came tumbling down to a rocky
ride, whereas, the joke is almost upon their own heads! They've run
off the very Sellers whom brought buyers to the site, and it's been
nearly dead, but not quite deader than a door nail.

One cannot help but wonder, the purpose and manipulation of it all.

Has one truly ever sat down and think, if Holly hadn't had a bad
experience on eBay in regards to some couch, would Overstock Auctions
be where it is currently?

What's with the Amnesty? I've had reports of those who've submitted
but negatory on the response. Seems to me, it's all jealousy and
buddy-buddy relationship. No one in their right mind would dump those
who've worked alongside, and was there through it all ... but alas...

In the business world, it's the attitude of "what's in it for me" ~ and
how can "I" benefit and profit at other's expense and get all the glory
upon "ME". Indeed, it's reality, it happens all the time, online and
offline. But I've cautious many in blurting out too much information
lest they take advantage over you as the quote goes, "cast not your
pearls before the swine lest they trample over you" applies and fits
quite well.

I have seen absolutely of nothing and of no benefit of the TOASA, the
LL, and all the other fancy schmancy gadgets, in fact, it seems to hurt
them more than help them.

I have no words to state except "Pride goeth before a destruction and
a haughty spirit before a fall."

There's nothing that no one can do at this point except sit back and
watch helplessly, for a building without a foundation cannot stand,
it might be up for a time being, but it cannot stand.

It's sad as a whole, when their intentions were well-meaning and had
the determination to prosper, but applying and going the wrong way
will simply just ruin it all.

One cannot help but be perplexed, in awe and bewildered by the entire
thing from beginning to current.

credibility said...

Jeff, I apoligize for cutting and pasting the entire stories vs. just putting up the url, but I read in the forum that a lot of posts get deleted. So just in case, I cut n pasted the posts. I guess if I crowded your blog you have every right to delete these.
Notice in this Post the name "Southie".
She is the gal who I referred to in one of my earlier post where she was discussing a "Sith Lord type" from Wall Street to Patrick. It appears that she has had enough as well.
I wonder if she will Tell who the Sith Lord is?
She could make a lot of money by calling up Ron Insana.



BigfootDepot



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 112
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:01 pm Post subject: Re: When the boss is away :shock:

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I don't believe Patrick took a leave, I believe it was one of the top IT guys that departed.

As to the rest, I said it before and I will say it again. I believe Overstock Auctions has been mismanaged since Day-1. They asked the sellers what they wanted/needed and then ignored the requests and implemented changes based on a personal agenda. While some that were there near the beginning were fairly new at auction sales, there were many veterans and many that wanted to jump ship on eBay. Those experienced sellers told Overstock what was needed and what additional things they wanted ..... and the information was basically collected and thrown on a pile on someone's desk to be looked at at a later date. 1 year from the intoduction of the auction site and they FINALLY supply the capabilities to delete unsold and sold items.

BBL - asked for 9 months ago ... still not there.
Ability to cancel bids ... still not there.
Ducth or Multiple Qty items ... still not there.
Stores ... still not there.

TM/BS ... personal agenda of someones
Ratings calculations ... who knows where that came from

What is needed by an auction site for having a chance at succeeding?
a) ask 50 grizzled veteran sellers
b) ask 1 person who spent a little over a year dumping unwanted items on eBay that weren't even theirs, so cost -- price -- profit were terms of little consequence
c) do the initial programming 'offshore'
d) have auctions be the 'red-haired step-child' for the real profit center

Pick those that would apply.

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southie



Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 237
Location: Sunny Florida
Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:58 pm Post subject: Re: When the boss is away :shock:

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How about:
E - All of the Above? :lol:

I agree with the postings, right or wrong, it's a mess! BIG MESS!



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dragonlady55



Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 151
Location: New Jersey
Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:50 am Post subject: Re: When the boss is away :shock:

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I'm so glad that I don't have anything listed there because I can't even get the site to load anymore. There seems to be a problem with the live help stuff. It stays on the bottom trying to load but won't! I can't even go there and lurk anymore! :( - NOT!!!!

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credibility said...

Here's the Damage control Specialist: "Everything is going to be fine in 2006,...... but nothing is written in stone"

http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/holly.php

credibility said...

southie



Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 237
Location: Sunny Florida
Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:17 am Post subject: Re: Notes From Holly (Overstock VP/Auctions)

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Hmmmm - Noticed she(Holly) said "direct all frustrations
and anger upon her"????? Isn't that what some of the O-members got
booted from Overstock Auctions in the FIRST place???

Holly MacDonald-Korth wrote: › docWrite("quote")Please direct all anger and frustration at me. This is my fault for not getting this done sooner.

Hmmmmmmmm ~ this is going to be interesting, very, very interesting!
:roll:


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tuckerbunny2



Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Pennsylvania
Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:26 am Post subject: Re: Notes From Holly (Overstock VP/Auctions)

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ROFL Looks like some folks directed their anger & frustration in the right place & the posts were removed...

http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?t=10287&postdays=0&postorder

credibility said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
credibility said...

Holly who is the Head wig at OSTAuctions that fired all those disgruntled compaliners in the above posts.

SHE was hired directly by Dr. Patrick Byrne(hannibal).(and here's why)
(note: this is not made up)

hannibal (8.0/4.7), Sat Oct 2 10:29:54 2004
Holly is heroic. Brilliant. Witty. Patient and understanding of my slow-learning. She is also the coolest dancer I have ever seen (this is what really made me me notice her).
Patrick