Sam Antar Blog | Thanks to Marc Cohodes, We’re Back to the Bad Old Days at Overstock.com | Talkmarkets - Page 4
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Sam Antar is a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the CFO of Crazy Eddie, Mr. Antar helped mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered during the 1980s.

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Thanks to Marc Cohodes, We’re Back to the Bad Old Days at Overstock.com

Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 12:18 PM EST

In fact, Byrne lied about the contents of the ADL missive.

The letter, still hosted on a Bagley website, simply says that the group was not getting involved in the dispute that Manfredonia brought to their attention (The ADL gets involved in major issues, not disputes between private parties). After Manfredonia resurfaced as a Cohodes ally, the former ADL lawyer who wrote that letter, Yael Mazar, confirmed to Gary Weiss via email: “The letter I wrote on behalf of ADL does not make any determination at all. It simply says that ADL cannot be involved nor make a determination.”

Byrne has never repudiated his lie about the ADL letter, his enthusiastic embrace of Manfredonia or the anti-Semitic innuendo that Jeffrey Matthews highlighted.

I don’t believe that Cohodes is anti-Semitic. What I do know is that he has lost all sense of proportion on Overstock.com, and is completely reckless and unscrupulous. He will stop at nothing to hype the hell out of that stock and to attack people who get in his way.

I’m sure that Cohodes will respond to the above by saying that all of the above are irrelevant to the new, vibrant, changed Overstock and its “visionary” CEO. So why has he made Manfredonia relevant? Why has Cohodes retweeted him and liked his tweets? Why have his proxies and surrogates endorsed and encouraged Manfredonia?

If Byrne’s smear campaign is a thing of the past, why has Cohodes kept it going? How can Cohodes go on and on about how Overstock has changed when he has made sure that it has not, that it is still a company you daren’t criticize?

Cohodes threatens to dox a critic

As you can see from this Dec. 11 tweet (below), Cohodes does not distinguish between bona fide market observers, such as Jeffrey Matthews, and anonymous trolls. Note also that in this tweet Cohodes boasts that he got these people into the stock early on, before his big pump in October. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Cohodes endorses and enables trolls who hide behind anonymous handles while attacking Overstock critics. Anonymity is OK with Cohodes—except when that anonymous person is critical of Overstock. Cohodes has posted obsessively, sometimes multiple times a day, to intimidate and hector the Overstock critic “unemon1,” who has posted skeptical views concerning the company’s blockchain venture.

Rather than respond substantively, he has attacked this person and recently posted a creepy threat to “dox” him. (Click on image to enlarge.)

As I pointed out in my last blog, doxing threats were frequently used by Bagley even before he founded the Deep Capture site.

Cohodes is getting more and more out-of-control in his tweets. A couple of weeks ago he tweeted this violent fantasy (click on image to enlarge):

Cohodes recycles the same angry invective over and over. Here’s a typical one from yesterday. (Click on image to enlarge.)

What is this childish name-calling supposed to be, an attack on my credibility? It isn’t. It’s an attack on Cohodes’s credibility, and a convincing one.

It’s sad to see a person who used to challenge bullies become a bully himself, in the service of an even bigger bully.

That line from Pogo comes to mind: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Conclusion: The Media Needs to Wake Up

In his Overstock pump, Marc Cohodes has justified everything he has said and done on the basis of the stock market performance of this ridiculously hyped company. It is as if to him there is no such thing as right or wrong, just how well he and Byrne pump the stock. If the stock goes up, everything he says is right. If it goes down, everything he says is wrong.

I would suggest that a portfolio is no substitute for a conscience.

Cohodes frequently falsely suggests to his peanut gallery on Twitter that my criticism of his lionizing of Patrick Byrne, and my concerns about the CEO's integrity, are the same as a recommendation to sell or short the stock. Investors need to make up their own minds based on the facts. I am not an investor, long or short.

I’ve been out of the stock market for almost ten years, and I have never recommended a buy or a sell, much less a short sale, of this or any stock. I certainly would not recommend a buy or sell of a stock that is being openly manipulated like this one, a subject of irrational hype, in which critics are subjected to personal attacks, and in which the media is too co-opted, indifferent or intimidated to engage in skeptical reporting.

In reading various Twitter discussions among journalists about Overstock, it is striking how reporters I deeply respect keep rationalizing why they do not write critically about the CEO some of them found to be so intriguing in 2007. I think some soul-searching is in order.

Cohodes has been spared the scrutiny that he deserves. The profiles of him that have appeared recently have been one-sided and superficial. Whether this is due to laziness or his cultivation of the press is hard to say.

Cohodes has built a reputation on his stock picks, and his word, amplified by the financial press, has driven up the price of the stock. But he has no verifiable recent track record.

We know that the last time he ran money for other people was when he was manager of a fund called Copper River. It collapsed in 2008. It was the only short fund to meet such a fate in what was otherwise a great year for short-sellers. He blames Goldman Sachs, but I wonder if Cohodes wasn’t at least equally to blame. No one forced him to keep his assets at Lehman Brothers even after it was plain that the company might be the next to go belly-up.

Here’s hoping that someday soon the media will wake up and give this company and stock promoter the skeptical attention they warrant.

It won’t be pleasant. Manfredonia has begun to include Roddy Boyd in his attacks. Some of them may get slime thrown at them and their families, perhaps even parents and spouses as Gary was. But the public deserves no less.

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