Russia Collusion, Again? “Deep State” Comments Lead Overstock CEO Out, plus Manufactured Home Investing Updates

DowJonesIndustrial8222019ManufacturedHomeStockOverviewUpdatesThere isn’t much connection between this headline and manufactured housing on the surface, save this.  It is one more reminder that for some 2 years, much of the media were ‘covering’ a controversy that was cooked up.  MHProNews, over two years ago, said that it would lead no where with respect to the Trump campaign. That’s in fact what happened. How did we know?  Let’s look, because it can be useful on other topics, beyond the headline ones.


Every evening our headlined provide snapshots from two major media outlets on each side of the left-right news spectrum that reflect topics that influence or move investor sentiment. In moments on this business evening report, you can get insights-at-a-glance.

This report also sets the broader context for manufactured housing markets, in keeping with our mantra, “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing©.

We begin with left-of-center CNN followed by right-of-center Fox Business. We share closing tickers and other related data courtesy of Yahoo Finance, and more. 5 to 10 minutes reading this MHProNews market report every business night could save you 30 minutes to an hour of similar reading or fact-gathering elsewhere.


Headlines from left-of-center CNN Business.


  • Overstock CEO resigns
  • His controversial, conspiracy-laden comments on an FBI ‘deep state’ sparked a stock selloff

o   Dow ekes out gain as bond market flashes another recession warning

o   Is a recession coming? Here’s how to tell

o   What is the yield curve and why it matters

o   Russia launches humanoid robot into space

o   Stock buybacks exploded after the tax cuts. Now they’re slowing down

o   Opinion: A global recession may be coming a lot sooner than anyone thought

o   Carlos Ghosn’s wife asks French President Macron to help her husband

o   Facebook exec says the future of VR will be cheaper and increasingly wireless

o   Apple warns customers not to put its new credit card in leather wallets

o   Federal officials raise concerns about White House plan to police alleged social media censorship

o   Sarah Sanders joins Fox News

  • American factories are producing less. That hasn’t happened in a decade
  • Google ditches dessert names for Android 10
  • The US economy created half a million fewer jobs last year than previously thought
  • Amazon just opened its biggest office building

o   Amazon to pass along costs of France’s ‘digital services tax’

o   FedEx will no longer offer ground delivery to Amazon

o   Amazon requests FAA approval of delivery-drone plans

o   US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Amazon has ‘destroyed’ retail

  • For the fourth time, Facebook removes accounts linked to Myanmar’s military

o   Researchers can now use AI and a photo to make fake videos of anyone

o   Instagram is evaluating how to handle deepfakes

o   Virtual kidnappings are rattling families across the US

o   These people do not exist. Why websites are churning out fake images of people (and cats)


Headlines from right-of-center Fox Business. 

  • Here are best, worst Florida cities to retire in: Report
  • America has half a million fewer jobs than initially believed
  • Coworker helps cops break up possible mass shooting at hotel
  • Rumored new Apple products include ‘pro’ iPhone
  • How do you save capitalism? Billionaire has an idea
  • Qantas Airways testing ‘final frontier in aviation’
  • Stocks struggle on weak manufacturing data, interest rate worries
  • These are the highest-paid actors and how much they make
  • China warns US about escalating trade friction
  • Boeing to boost 737 production by February: Report
  • Steve Wynn snaps up $43 million Florida mansion
  • Could resurgence of risky mortgages cause another financial crisis?
  • Gas prices predicted to drop this fall. Here’s how much you can expect to save: AAA
  • Taylor Swift says she’ll re-record her old songs. How much money is on the line?
  • Fed’s Powell likely to pave way for second interest rate cut at Jackson Hole
  • Big phone firms, 51 attorneys general launch anti-robocall initiative
  • Walmart, CEO Doug McMillon petitioned to stop gun sales after recent shootings
  • Yield curve inverts again, but why that may not matter
  • Payden and Rygel Chief Economist, Jeffrey Cleveland, discusses the significance of a yield curve inversion and economic fundamentals.
  • ‘The Rock’ tops Forbes list of highest-paid actors
  • FBN’s Ashley Webster breaks down the top five highest paid actors of 2019 according to Forbes Magazine.
  • Ford secretly road-tests new electric Mustang SUV?
  • Automotive Editor Gary Gastelu on reports Ford secretly road-teste a new electric Mustang SUV.
  • JPMorgan closes Chase Pay app for in-store purchases, as most Americans ignore mobile pay
  • JPMorgan Chase has reportedly decided to shut down its mobile payment app, according to a report.
  • Fedor robot blasts into space
  • NASA broadcasts Russian rocket launch with ‘Fedor’ robot on-board.
  • Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns amid Russian spy link, ‘deep state’ comments
  • The Overstock CEO is no stranger to controversy.
  • Rumored new Apple products include ‘pro’ iPhone
  • Apple will present three new “Pro” iPhones, iPad upgrades, and a large 16-inch MacBook Pro.
  • Boeing to boost 737 production by February: Report
  • Company officials said at a July 30 meeting that it will produce 737 planes at a rate of 52 per month starting in February 2020.
  • Walmart, CEO Doug McMillon petitioned to stop gun sales after recent shootings
  • A petition asking Walmart to stop the sale of guns was sent to the retail giant’s CEO Doug McMillon on Tuesday.
  • Why Energizer is ahead of the curve


10 Market Indicator Closing Summaries – Yahoo Finance Closing Tickers on MHProNews…


Tonight’s Business/Market/Political Impact Spotlight –


It is what it is.

Media and information of all sorts has been weaponized, according to a wide variety of sources that span the left-right political spectrum. Numbers on the left trust nada from the right and vice versa.

Life is more nuanced than that, as this report reminds us.

Those in either major party camp would be wrong to automatically dismiss reports from those who hold the opposite viewpoint.  Ponder anew the quotes from media insiders and analysts.

In an era of often, but not always, weaponized news, here are some tests.

1)    Get a range of inputs.

2)    See if the claim has logic to it, and that requires a good degree of detachment.

3)    Follow the money.

4)    Ask, who benefits from this story?  See if there is evidence to the contrary.

5)    In short, keep an open mind and let logic and evidence dictate.

In the case of Russia collusion, we felt early on that the insight from Secretary Hillary Clinton supporter and Democratic backer Alan Dershowitz made good sense.  He said that even if the story was true, what was alleged wasn’t illegal.  That should have settled it, because other experts supported that reasoning.

That said, here is the report from CNBC and the Overstock media release.


  • Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has resigned from the e-commerce company after making comments about his role in the “deep state.”
  • Last week, Byrne released a statement about his role in the federal government’s investigation into the 2016 election, which caused shares of Overstock to fall for three consecutive trading days.
  • The company said it will appoint Jonathan Johnson, a member of Overstock’s board, as interim CEO.


This was the press release that began the furor from Overstock.


Sara Carter has published two articles relating the following claims of mine:

Starting in 2015 I (operating under the belief that I was helping legitimate law enforcement efforts) assisted in what are now known as the ‘Clinton Investigation’ and the ‘Russian Investigation’ (in fact, I am the notorious ‘missing Chapter 1’ of the Russian investigation). It was the third time in my life I helped the Men in Black: the first was when my friend Brian Williams was murdered, and the second was when I helped the M.I.B. shake up Wall Street a decade ago. Unfortunately, this third time turned out to be less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz).

In July 2018 I put the pieces together. I immediately (last July) came forward to a Congressman and a senior military officer, to the Department of Justice this April, and (upon my Omaha Rabbi reminding me of my duty as a citizen late this June) to a small set of journalists this summer. Ms. Carter was among them. Her two stories are accurate.

Having confirmed Ms. Carter’s two articles, I have fulfilled those citizenship obligations of which my Rabbi reminded me. I will speak no more on the subject. Instead, having lived in places lacking Rule of Law and having witnessed the consequences of its absence, I plan on sitting back and watching the United States Department of Justice re-establish Rule of Law in our country.”



The full resignation letter as reported by CNBC is below.

Start of extended quote from the source shown.

Dear Shareholders,

In July I came forward to a small set of journalists regarding my involvement in certain government matters. Doing so was not my first choice, but I was reminded of the damage done to our nation for three years and felt my duty as a citizen precluded me from staying silent any longer. So, I came forward in as carefully and well-managed fashion as I could. The news that I shared is bubbling (however haphazardly) into the public. Though patriotic Americans are writing me in support, my presence may affect and complicate all manner of business relationships, from insurability to strategic discussions regarding our retail business. Thus, while I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as CEO and board member, effective Thursday August 22.

This possibility or even likelihood has been forefront of my mind for just over a year, since certain news became public in July 2018. On July 15 of this year, in the expectation that I might be gone before our recent (August 8) earnings call, I wrote my most detailed letter to shareholders in a long time. Here are the key points from that letter that you should know as a shareholder:

  1. I think the blockchain revolution will reshape key social institutions. We have designed and breathed life into perhaps the most significant blockchain keiretsuin the world, a network of blockchain firms seeking to revolutionize identity, land governance (= rule of law = potential = capital), central banking, capital markets, supply chains, and voting. In three of those fields (land governance, central banking, and capital markets) the word “trillions” comes up when calculating the disruptive opportunity of blockchain. In those three fields, our blockchain progeny (Medici Land Governance, Bitt, and tZERO, respectively) are arguably the leading blockchain disruptors in existence.
  2. Retail
    We face a competitor who (by the end of this year) will have lost close to $3 billion, and who announced recently it will seek to raise another $750 million, and who will be able to cover its expenses when the two lines in the graph intersect (cf. below right).
    After my ill-fated experiment last year in copying our competition’s strategy, our retail business has recovered to a state of positive adjusted EBITDA (cf. graph on left).A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:Leadership – We have the most solid Retail leadership team we have ever had. Our ab initio redesign of our executive structure starting a year ago has led to a better integration of all functions and proper management thereof than we have ever achieved in our history.Chief Marketing Officer JP Knab is the greatest master of Digital Marketing I have ever met. I will miss watching Commander Data find new arbitrage.Kamelia Aryfar is a data scientist and Machine Learning specialist of some renown: Dr. Aryfar originally cut her teeth at Etsy, and in her two years with us has led the Machine Learning overhaul of our company, (through which we are 40% complete).The integration of Skynet (Kamelia’s name for her AI creation) continues across Marketing and Sourcing, and as it augments decisioning, we discover ways to find continuous gains.

    In recognition of the importance that Machine Learning is coming to play in our world, Kamelia has been named Executive Vice President and has also been appointed to the company’s board of directors. She is an extraordinary asset to the firm and she will do big things for you shareholders in the future.

    Dave Nielsen is one of the few OG retailers I ever met who made the prop-to-jet conversion. He is as able as they come and is widely admired within the firm. He has already been serving as President and has been a big part of our radical improvement in bottom line this year. He is a true adult. He knows the mission is to continue providing the space and resources for Kamelia, JP and others to keep bringing in those multi-tens of million-dollar improvements in Retail bottom line by focusing on making our Retail site a gem technologically and leave the multi-billion losses to others.

    Over the last three years, Jonathan Johnson has done an extraordinary job of converting a mishmash of entrepreneurs, term papers, and your capital, into the most remarkable keiretsu of well-formed blockchain firms in the world. He has proven himself to be an extremely capable partner who gets the vision. I welcome that he will be serving as CEO of your entire public company. You could not have a more stable, prudent leader. The reason we have been such good partners is that Jonathan is the exact opposite of me in many respects. No doubt that may be welcome in some quarters. He has the keiretsu, he has the roadmap, he understands that the goal is to nurture the keiretsu to its full potential while permitting the Retail business to focus all its efforts on technological perfection rather than loss accumulation.

  3. Strategically: We have removed the pistol from our temple. I believe in the near future the cash generated by Retail going forward should be adequate for funding both Retail’s ongoing innovation (we caught the Machine Learning wave just right here, and have a first-rate team that is reinventing the company from an ML perspective), and nurturing to maturity our keiretsu of blockchain firms, especially tZERO, Medici Land Governance, and Bitt (well, and Voatz, too) – particularly with the possibility of their becoming less of a cash burn, either through outside investments, or from the fact that their products (e.g., tZERO’s) are reaching the market.Retail:In the course of discussions with brick-and-mortars last year, when we filled out their models with our data, we would generally discover that if we were part of a brick-and-mortar chain with a national footprint there could be ≈$200 million in annual savings (primarily but not exclusively in logistics). On the other hand, if joined to certain sites with high traffic but which have not cracked the monetization nut, models showed that, combined with us, there might be savings of ≈$150 – $200 million.In the absence of some such hybridization, I think that just by continuing to get supply-chain-smarter we can find ≈$40 million of those savings on our own over 12-18 months. We have introduced Advertising Technology this summer which will generate (I believe) a similarly attractive number over the same time frame. So, assuming Retail does $115 – $120 millionbetter on the bottom line this year than last (our range of estimates), expecting it next year to make multiple tens of millions of dollars in bottom line improvements again seems reasonable to me.As you know, I do think that the Gods of Economics believe some such hybridization of business models is to be done. That could take many forms, from cooperative partnerships with a brick-and-mortar, to an acquisition (for a fund with ambition, the ultimate form might be a stack of all three layers and a recovery of perhaps ≈$300 million in bottom line while establishing something unique).

    Collectively – The best thing to do for shareholder interest is to use cash flow to mature our blockchain keiretsu firms to fruition while we keep running our Retail business focusing on refining it as an exquisite gem of a technology platform, rather than again trying to go head-to-head with any firm in the process of dropping billions of dollars in losses. Refining that technological gem is what brings value to brick-and-mortars for whom we represent a way to leap to the front of the pack technologically. If the right strategic offer is made that reflects the value of that technological gem, I am confident the board will consider it. It is possible that my absence will advance the possibility.

    On any normal day, my presence is not conducive to strategic discussions regarding our retail business. I believe that going forward my presence will definitely not be conducive to such strategic discussions. And if the hors d’oeuvre that was served recently caused the market such indigestion, it is not going to be in shareholder interest for me to be around if and when any main course is served.

It has been an honor to serve you through thick and thin, threats grand and arcane, for the past 20 years. You own some disruptive assets herein. One of them changed how furniture gets purchased in the United States and has run up a record of GAAP profitable years that is nearly unrivaled in B2C eCommerce, on a fraction of the capital of every competitor they ever faced (a fact missed by most). And you own blockchain assets that seem poised to revolutionize capital markets, finance, and governance for the poor. It has been 20 years of remarkable innovation from a team that is now honed for it.

Coming forward publicly about my involvement in other matters was hardly my first choice. But for three years I have watched my country pull itself apart while I knew

End of extended quote from the source shown.

many answers, and I set my red line at seeing civil violence breaking out. My Rabbi made me see that “coming forward” meant telling the public (not just the government) the truth. I now plan on leaving things to the esteemed Department of Justice(which I have doubtless already angered enough by going public) and disappearing for some time.

I wish all shareholders a smooth and level road… And don’t forget to shop!

Your humble servant,
Patrick M. Byrne


Beyond the incident, the drama is one more reminder that government has often been weaponized against opposition and also has been known to puts its thumb on the scales for or against business too.  See the related reports, below.


Related Reports:

Tucker Carlson on GOP Senator Mike Lee – “Maybe It’s…as Corrupt as It Looks”

Federal “Operation Choke Point,” A Fresh Look from MHVille

Manufactured Housing Industry Investments Connected Closing Equities Tickers

Some of these firms invest in manufactured housing, or are otherwise connected, but may do other forms of investing or business activities too.

  • NOTE: The chart below includes the Canadian stock, ECN, which purchased Triad Financial Services.
  • NOTE: Drew changed its name and trading symbol at the end of 2016 to Lippert (LCII).


Updated for Summer 2019…

Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and other factory built housing industry suppliers.

· LCI Industries, Patrick, UFPI, and LP each are suppliers to the manufactured housing industry, among others.

· AMG, CG, and TAVFX have investments in manufactured housing related businesses.

Your link to an example of industry praise for our coverage, is found here and here. For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for Your Vote of Confidence.”

· For expert manufactured housing business development or other professional services, click here.

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· Disclosure. MHProNews holds no positions in the stocks in this report.

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsWe Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach, co-managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC and co-founder for, and

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