Overstock Holds 3 Months Of Food, $10 Million In Gold For Employees In Preparation For The Next Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne's crusade against naked short sellers in particular, and Wall Street and the Federal Reserve in general, has long been known and thoroughly documented (most recently with his push to use blockchain technology to revolutionize the multi-trillion repo market).

But little did we know that Overstock's Chairman Jonathan Johnson is as vocal an opponent of the fiat system, and Wall Street's tendency to create bubble after bubble, if not more than Byrne himself.  That, and that his company actually puts its money where its gold-backed money is and in preparation for the next upcoming crash, has taken unprecedented steps to prepare for what comes next.

One week ago Johnson, who is also candidate for Utah governor, spoke at the United Precious Metals Association, or UPMA, which we first profiled a month ago, and which takes advantage of Utah's special status allowing the it to use gold as legal tender, offering gold and silver-backed accounts. As a reminder, the UPMA takes Federal Reserve Notes (or paper dollars) which it then translates into golden dollars (or silver). The golden dollars are based off the $50 one ounce gold coins produced by the Treasury of The United States. They are legal tender under the law and are protected as such.

What did Johnson tell the UPMA? Here are some choice quotes:

We are not big fans of Wall Street and we don't trust them. We foresaw the financial crisis, we fought against the financial crisis that happened in 2008; we don't trust the banks still and we foresee that with QE3, and QE4 and QE n that at some point there is going to be another significant financial crisis.


So what do we do as a business so that we would be prepared when that happens. One thing that we do that is fairly unique: we have about $10 million in gold, mostly the small button-sized coins, that we keep outside of the banking system. We expect that when there is a financial crisis there will be a banking holiday. I don't know if it will be 2 days, or 2 weeks, or 2 months. We have $10 million in gold and silver in denominations small enough that we can use for payroll. We want to be able to keep our employees paid, safe and our site up and running during a financial crisis.


We also happen to have three months of food supply for every employee that we can live on.

The contents of the rest of his speech are largely familiar to advocates of sound money: fiat paper has no value, solid gold - as both a currency and an asset - has tremendous value but is difficult to transport (and since a systemic collapse would certainly involve gold confiscation, portability would be an issue); gold-backed money may be the best option, and so on.

We are confident the echo-chamber of worthless econohacks and macrotourists, the same ones who were absolutely certain the great financial crisis will never happen, will be quick to mock "prepper" Johnson and Wall Street pariah Overstock. And they have every right to do so. We only hope that after the next crash, with central banks all in and when calls for another global bailout hit a fever pitch, that all those pundits who made fun of the Johnsons of the world, will keep their damn mouth shut.

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mickeyman's picture

I'm not convinced this is a wise announcement to make.

Keyser's picture

Something of a dying breed... A CEO that actually considers the well-being of his employees and makes tangible plans to ensure their safety in event of a crisis... A far cry from the usual wall-street types that would lay-off employees, liquidate assets and buy back shares... Kudos...

old naughty's picture

"something of a dying (rare?) breed..."

not an idiot, for sure.

Hail to the "Johnsons" of this soon-to-be-collapsed fiat world.

greenskeeper carl's picture

There is an interesting story about overstock and Patrick Byrne.


Click on 'the story of deep capture' link at the top. I never finished reading what that site has, but this has reminded to go back to it, figured id point it out to you guys. It's worth a look, as apparently they have been fighting jim Cramer and his ilk for a while.

But, good for this company. You don't see big companies run like this very often. I've bought stuff from their site instead of others because of what I know about the people who run it before, and I intend to keep doing so now. Good for them. We should all be so lucky to work for such people.

38BWD22's picture



I read the piece greenskeeper carl directed us to.

An immense scandal, quite possibly true.  It's all there, Russians, crooks, MSM liars, ominous DTCC, slime at wikipedia, everything.  Complete corruption.  59 pages lays it out, highly recommended reading:



Gold, bitchez.

Torment to bullies and gangsters.  <--- edited for civility

FinalEvent's picture

Hahahahahaha. Bitcoin, funny fake internet money.


Oh wait...

VinceFostersGhost's picture



He's got gold and food first.


If you have disposable money after that....sure buy bitcoins.


I'd probably go for salt and seahells first....but that's just me.


OK.....I'm probably kidding about that last statement.....maybe.

Took Red Pill's picture

The Mormons believe in storing a year's worth of food as part of their religion. Utah might be the place to be if the SHTF. They will even gladly share their food with non believers!



maxamus's picture

Most 'Muricans store 6 months of food on their body, i the form of fat.

Handful of Dust's picture

He deserves the Medal of Freedom...despite it's being debased the last few years like the Nobel Piece Prize.

FEDbuster's picture

You can store as much food and gold as you want, but you better have the means to defend it.  No dialing 911 in a collapse situation.  In fact, agents from the government may be your biggest threat?  Utah is the best state to be for "preppers" due to the LDS Chuch, but in all other states it will be "from those with preps, to those with needs".

Deathrips's picture

10m usd / 1500 employees = 6666.66666$ of gold per employee.


odd number.



No.Fifth.Turning's picture

Rule # 1: NEVER tell anyone you have gold, guns, grub etc.

logicalman's picture

There are 2 secrets to success.

1. Never tell anyone everything you know.


hannah's picture

'Rule # 1: NEVER tell anyone you have gold, guns, grub '...or gonorrhea.

Stackers's picture

Can't imagine why they would not trust Wall Street


Overstock Short Interest Now 107% of Float on Deposit at DTCC

SALT LAKE CITY, March 24, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Overstock.com(R) (Nasdaq: OSTK) today reports that per the DTCC's March 10 Security Position Listing, there are 8,970,394 Overstock.com shares on deposit at the DTCC and that the NASDAQ reported short interest in Overstock.com of 9,578,481 shares for the same week. Thus, Overstock.com's reported short interest is now 107% of the shares available to be shorted.

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said, "The decimal is not misplaced -- we have cracked the speed of light. It is my understanding that some shareholders (e.g., pension funds) might have asked that their shares not be made available to shorts, thus reducing the 8.97 million shares the DTCC has available for lending. I also understand that the 9.58 million stated short interest does not include failed-to-deliver short sales, failed-to-deliver long sales, another category that the DTCC now cryptically calls, 'open positions,' or lending outside the DTCC (i.e., 'ex-clearing'), which only two guys on Staten Island understand. Thus the real ratio is anyone's guess, but it's somewhere between 107% and infinity. On a positive note, the DTCC continues to maintain that their Stock Borrow Program does not permit the creation of new or counterfeit shares: I think that's good, because otherwise this situation could be getting out of control."

Socratic Dog's picture

Hmm.  Think I'm beginning to like this fella.

Never One Roach's picture

FEDBuster is right; when the SHTF peeples will go crazy for these items, esp the 285 lb hungry gentle giants. And whatever you do, DO NOT flash  a chicken leg in the air; you'll be asking for trouble.

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

My friends do not understand why I own multiple 'assault' weapons & several thousand rounds of ammo in various calibers.  They make fun of my large supply of food, and cannot comprehend why I try to convert as much 'money' as I can into Silver.

When the shit hits the fan, and it surely will eventually, I will be the first person they run to when they panick.  I don't kow what I am going to tell them, if they can find me in the first place that is...

Burticus's picture

Tell them, "Don't plan on coming to my compound. I warned you when silver, food, guns & ammo were cheap & plentiful."

Socratic Dog's picture

Tell them "Don't come empty handed.  Bring something of value, real value, if you expect aid". 

Most won't have anything more than their wives and daughters to offer. 

Dragon HAwk's picture

In the winter inviting all your neighbors in to sit on the floor and keep warm is a good idea.. any farmer will tell you it's the cows that heat the barn.. of course trips to the bathroom could get complicated.. but yeah, price of admission is one can of food, or something that burns in the stove

css1971's picture

3500 Calories per lb of fat. This is about 3 days with little/no exercise and eating *nothing*; 1200 calories per day. Lets pretend it's 3 days exactly; 1166 per day.

Average height male: 5'10 -> 132lb.

How much do you weigh?

subtract 132lb, then multiply by 3 and that's about how many day's fat reserve you're carrying doing little/no exercise. Half it if you're active and divide by 4 if you're doing strenuous exercise. This takes you to the lower bound of "normal" weight as defined by most BMI charts.

:-) 6 months is only about 20lb. More realistically 40lb with some exercise... You may be underestimating how long Americans could last eating nothing,

Ranger4564's picture

By your own formula, 20lbs x 3 days = 60 days, 2 months. Thank god. ;-)

Urban Redneck's picture

I'm confused by your 132lb "average"...

... according to 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are the measurements of the average American man:

Height: 5 feet 9 inches (69.3 inches) 
Weight: 195.5 pounds
Waist circumference: 39.7 inches

To be 5'9" or 5'10" and weight almost 200 lbs and NOT have a bodybuilder's physique, or a power lifter's strength, or a knuckle dragging troglodyte lower primate's bone structure... would seem to indicate at least 50 lbs of fat (excluding essential fat) based on my experience.  Or stated another way, anything above that "132 lb average" that isn't muscle is fat. 

Or there's the simplified picture version to compare to "average" neighbors.

Never One Roach's picture

Most Americans I see waddling around are > 5'10" and weight at least 285 Lbs.


If you go to Walmart areas, it's even higher. Thier thighs are bigger then my waist. However, they may serve a useful purpose as "Human Bunker Busters" in a time of conflict.

FrankDrakman's picture

Average height 5'10" means a weight of 132 lbs? I'm 5'10", a little overweight at 205 lbs, but 132?

My best friend walked the Appallachian Trail two years ago, and when he finished, he was rail-thin at 5'9", 165 lbs.

I haven't weighed 132 lbs since I was 14, riding my bike 10km to school and back each day, playing football, basketetball nd hockey.

A 5'10" man who weighs 132 lbs is a stick man.

logicalman's picture

I'm only 5' 7" and I weight 135 - 60yrs old - weighed 140 at 18.

But then I still cycle 10 miles a day, minimum. Just got back from 3 hours of hiking & archery.

No fat on me, but I can move pretty quickly and keep going for a long time.


thank-you-jerry's picture

I logged in just to give this the thumbs up...Good Juan!

The central planners's picture

So, youre assuming that at least 75% of mericans are preppers and they dont even know it? lol

venturen's picture

when the interneet is down...how much can you buy with "bitcoin"?

commander gruze?'s picture

2015 - zerohedgers discover bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. 2017 zerohedgers discover internet is not a prerequisite for bitcoin. But hey, we're getting there, we're getting there.








Ass Burger's picture

I'm currently on p. 20 and this is absolutely riveting. Seriously, I recommend reading: 


greenskeeper carl's picture

glad you guys liked the deep capture link. Another ZHer posted that a LONG time ago on another article, I believe it was about selling naked shorts. Wish I remebered who it was to give him credit, but I figured yall would like it. If you already loathe jim cramer, which I know most of us do, you won't want to stop reading, its that good. Even if only half of that shit is true(and I have no reason to doubt any of it) that guy belongs behind bars or worse. truly the scum of the earth. But, either way, its good reading for a slow weekend.


Also, if you don't already like patrik byrne, I remember a while back he told some dickhead on fox news that he saw no difference between the candidates(2012) when it came to important(to him) matters and that he intended to write in Ron Paul. He's been fighting the good fight for a long time, so its no surprise scum like cramer would go after him

MontgomeryScott's picture

On PP. 15.

Wrote in Ron Paul as well.

Excellent reading.


JoeSoMD's picture

Help me here SG, what/why are you pointing us to the link?  This one post on ZH has given me a weeks worth of reading to do so far... and now you hit me with your link!  Thank you for posting it but please put some context with it to help me prioritize.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Dude got a gummint boot on his neck and a reaming for paying his employees in gold and silver - Lois Lerner prolly wore the glove.

Nostradumbass's picture

Thank you greenskeer carl for the Deep Capture link. I am watching Deep Capture - The Movie this morning. I wasn't very aware of Patrick Byrne and what he stands for - thanks again.

WhackoWarner's picture

Thanks Mr. Gkeeper Carl.  For the link.  And the reading. Save these files.  Who knows when they disappear?  Or whatever.  Save the files at home for prosperity.  History is being rewritten as we speak.  Every speck of insight should be saved in case "they get classified or lost".

californiagirl's picture

I have been reading Deep Capture as long as Zerohedge. The Milken story grabbed my attention because I have a friend who used to work for him and testified in a taped deposition. Been paying attention to Patrick Byrne since I first got involved with SEC reporting and earnings calls when I ran across an article of him railing against Wall Street many years ago.  Had that article on my refrigerator for many years. It  is so rare to run across an executive with any ethics. If you had been reading Deep Capture, you would know the site was shut down a while ago but went back on line after winning a counter suit. The stories about what happened are probably still posted on Deep Capture somewhere.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"There is an interesting story about overstock and Patrick Byrne."~

Holy crap, Carl. What an effin' story. I'm still reading it. Absolutely amazing. The implications of it are astounding. Hell, no one is safe from this stuff. Thanks for sharing the link.

DeadFred's picture



So do we buy stock in a company that looks like it will survive the collapse or do we short it because it now has a big target painted on it?

Automatic Choke's picture

buy it now as a long term holding.

short it now with leverage for short term gains.


God's picture

Ask Patrick to develop an investors portal where, after price equilibrium has been discovered, an eager investor could purchase interest using sound money.

stacking12321's picture

i'm a fan of patrick byrne and overstock but i wouldn't buy stock in it as i'm not familiar with the business, and a better investment is investing in my own business.

but kudos to him and i support what he's doing, he will be much better situated during the next market crash than most.

Toxicosis's picture

I disagree, maybe not an idiot in one way, but surely an idiot to expose what he's got.  He's baiting the 'FEDS' just to come and cause him mass difficulty and take what he's got, all in the name of national security.  He's got balls, stupid, but he's got balls.