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How Patrick Byrne’s Final Act at Overstock Crushed Short Sellers

  • The stock has almost doubled. Meanwhile, shorts are covering
  • One issue may be an exotic blockchain dividend adopted in July
Patrick Byrne poses at an Overstock warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 29, 2010.
Patrick Byrne poses at an Overstock warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 29, 2010.Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg
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One of Patrick Byrne’s last acts at Overstock.com Inc. is making life difficult for the short sellers he was forever battling.

Shares of the online merchant are on a tear, up about 60% in two weeks. The rally coincides with a flurry of short covering that comes a week before the record date for an exotic dividend the company unveiled to much fanfare and confusion last month.