Happy Valentine’s Day, Gary Weiss. The SEC has dropped an investigation into Gradient Analytics, a research shop previously accused of “deliberately skewing its research to benefit short-sellers,” and has offered to issue Gradient a “rare” “No Action” letter, reports the Post. Gradient has been embroiled in a legal battle with saintly people at Overstock.com (accused of “abetting so-called stock counterfeiting"). From the man himself,
No surprise here. Overstock and its loathsome CEO Patrick Byrne are the latest in a long line of cruddy companies and inept CEOs that have blamed short-sellers for their own shoddy performance.
That is why this is such a huge embarrassment for the SEC, which should have known better. At one low point a year ago, the SEC subpoenaed several journalists who had fallen afoul of Overstock's dipsy-doodle CEO Patrick Byrne. Byrne denied that he had prompted the subpoenas or the investigation, but his greasy pawprints were all over it.
One of those real problems is Overstock.com itself, which is the subject of an informal SEC investigation itself. Time to see some SEC action on this disgraceful corporate train wreck.