Patrick Byrne, founder and former CEO of Overstock.com, has sold his shares in the company and is investing the proceeds in gold and cryptocurrency.
On Wednesday, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne published a blog post detailing his desire to invest in gold, silver, and two cryptocurrencies by Friday.
As regulatory filings reveal, Byrne will receive $90 million for cashing out his company shares. The cash-out began Monday after a 65% surge in the company’s stock price the previous Friday (Sept 13).
The stock price has fallen 42% since then.
Protection against the Deep State
Byrne resigned as Overstock’s CEO last month after stating that he was involved in a government espionage probe.
However, he has also revealed that insurance brokers refused to cover Overstock as long as he remained CEO.
The espionage probe Byrne is referring to likely involves his three-year relationship with Russian spy Maria Butina.
Angered by the government’s actions, the New York Times reports that Byrne is planning to “take aim at the deep state.”
Consequently, his investments in gold and crypto are a means to protect himself from “acts of retaliation from the Deep State.”
Byrne believes this action is “important because, in fact, I am now going to shellac them. Actually, ‘shellac’ is too weak a word for what I intend to do to the Deep State. Sit back and enjoy the show.”
In other remarks, Byrne has stated “You think me controversial now, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. I know enough to fry the Deep State to ashes.”
Byrne’s resignation last month came shortly before he detailed his 3-year involvement with what he called the “Russian Investigation” and the “Clinton Investigation.” He also stated that he had helped law enforcement officials (who he calls the “Men in Black”).
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Leaving a hedge for Overstock
Though no longer legally tied to Overstock, Byrne believes his crypto and gold investments can provide a hedge for the company if the economy craters (as Byrne considers them counter-cyclical to the economy).
“If the economy craters and thus Overstock runs into tough times, those investments will soar (that’s the “hedge”) and you will have access to capital if needed. In fact, you will have not just access to capital, you will have access to the friendliest capital imaginable: my own. I can provide a capital injection if needed by buying back into Overstock.”
The Deep State’s revenge?
Byrne’s recent blog post also noted that Overstock’s digital dividend is at risk. Noting rumors being heard on Wall Street, Byrne provides another reason for his departure.
“The proximate cause of his decision to sell, however, we heard over the weekend that starting last Friday, the Deep State’s pets at the SEC began leaking something to their clients JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman (and here as citizens I bet you thought we were their clients, right? lol),” he wrote.
“They leaked that they were going to Bazoomba our digital dividend. So (my financial advisor) decided it was time to eject, especially because he knows I need the ammo to go to war against the Deep State.”
The digital dividend is saved
The divestiture filing by Byrne came shortly before Overstock delayed issuing a “digital dividend.”
The delay provides time to register dividend shares, allowing the shares to be traded on various brokerages (rather than being limited to Overstock’s affiliated brokerage).
The move also alleviates worries about liquidity and the potential for some transactions to be held up as a result. And in a break from the past, the company will not be locking up the new shares for six-months.
The move also helps short sellers, as they were expected to deliver the dividend on borrowed shares to the lender. That reality enabled Overstock shares to rise by 65% last week.
Byrne has stated that he would be willing to provide a “capital injection if needed by buying back into Overstock” once he’s legally able to.