, the former Enron Corp chief executive, could be freed from prison nearly a decade sooner than originally expected
, under an agreement with federal prosecutors to end the last major legal battle over one of the biggest corporate frauds in U.S. history.
The world’s most prestigious consultancy prides itself on its intellectual prowess and ethical standards. But this year, an insider trading scandal surrounding former McKinsey luminaries has left staff and alumni reeling
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
It's been a few years since this documentary came out, and if you haven't seen it yet, you must. Just click and watch. The film is artistically made, enlightening, and ultimately infuriating. It takes on greater resonance in light of the current economic climate.
(Too many previous posts to list.)
- the trouble with Enron
Today we learn that Enron's outside law firm, Vinson & Elkins, has escaped unscathed.
The Enron debacle sucked in many people, but the lawyers have so far not been held liable. But many have asked: what about the lawyers
The Enron Explorer
from Trampoline Systems
"lets you investigate the actions and reactions of Enron's senior management team as the noose began to tighten" (through some 200,000 public domain corporate emails) using Trampoline's SONAR
social network mapping platform. (via FutureFeeder
Ken Lay guilty on all counts.
A jury has found Enron founder Ken Lay guilty on all six counts against him of fraud and conspiracy, with a combined possible penalty of 45 years in prison. Enron CEO Jeff Skilling was found guilty on 19 of 28 counts for conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.
Find offensive content!
The people at Inboxer allow you register for a free account
to use their antispam software on approximately 500,000 Enron emails in a database.
According to a Wired
article, the appliance has found 71,268 inappropriate messages.
And just to add to the fun, they're offering to give away 3 Ipod Shuffles
for people who submit the best emails in the "I'd fire him/her" the "Funniest Joke", and the "What were they thinking?" categories.
Just to give you an idea of what we're talking about here, check out this lovely Booty Call contract
. Also, check out the whitepaper they've written, Monsters in your mailbox
(.pdf), and get worried if you're using your business email account for personal messages!
Steal little steal big.
After nine months on the lam
, reputed mob boss Joey "The Clown
" Lombardo was captured Friday night in Elmwood Park.
He was one of the “guys back home” who took part in skimming $2 million from the Stardust
hotel in the movie Casino
He gets the spider hole treatment.
(”Moving from place to place is very stressful, as Saddam Hussein will tell you.")
While folks who took part in stealing over $42 billion from California alone are photographed in suits
and described as “polite.”
Corporate Scandal 2006.
The year of Enron.
Some articles (and at least one documentary
) attempt to outline the size and proportion of the economic, financial
of the scandal involving notorious
. As Sam Buell, a former federal prosecutor with the Justice Department's Enron Task Force puts it ""The deepest, most complex, most system-related case would be the last one to be resolved in all of this"
company operating 90 power plants in U.S.A. recently filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection with debts measured in billions of dollars.
Among other problems the company wasn't able to predict negative consequences
of an increase of natural gas price on at least eight significant contracts. (But hey they're new to this gas market things, it's my first
day at work and I signed eight big contracts ! D'oh !). Who routinely gets it up the arse ?
-- A breathtaking web of conspiratorial email messages. How often did Jeff Skilling email Ken Lay? How often were those emails about company business? Internal alliances? The company's allegiance? The California energy crisis? Who else was talking about it? Who wasn't?
Temptingly complete with software download and MySQL tables for your own tinfoil hat explorations.
Thomas White may collect 100,000,000's in loans
under the new energy bill
. Any bets on whether those loans will get paid back or not?
"DeLay is doing everything moral, legal and ethical to increase the Republican majority and advance conservative ideas,"
says his spokesman, Stuart Roy. Heck, we already know that Tom DeLay loves the children
enough to start a charitable fund to help pay for "late-night convention parties, a luxury suite during President Bush's speech at Madison Square Garden and yacht cruises" during the 2004 GOP convention (as well as the children, of course). Now, he's connected (via an email) to Enron, asking them for extra money in order to help fund the already-notorious redistricting in Texas. When will enough be enough?
Enron traders caught, on tape, "talking energy" "They're f------g taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"
"Yeah, now she wants her f------g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a------ for f------g $250 a megawatt hour."
Wacky Enron boys, what will
they say next.....
Before Enron Houston, Texas had been the locus of a stock scandal
of a slightly different sort. Growing up in Houston in the 80s and 90s, I never associated the word "Sharpstown" with anything but a mall, but the area underwent a development
mired in scandal.
In the late 1960s Frank W. Sharp, a Houston businessman, negotiated a deal with a few Texas House Democrats; they would help pass a piece of legislation, and in turn, he would ensure that they would make a profit from his company's stock. In 1971, the dealings came to light
. Most of the public officials connected with the scandal were run out of office, but somehow one man beat
the resulting karma, even it was a a few decades later. But some good did come out of this, as the Texas Open Records Act
was expanded in the aftermath of the scandal.
pulls an Uncle Junior
Sure sounds like guilty behavior to me.
Gore Vidal releases new book about the founding fathers, has some words for the current administration.
Vidal: But mostly we find the sort of corruption Franklin predicted. Ours is a totally corrupt society. The presidency is for sale. Whoever raises the most money to buy TV time will probably be the next president. This is corruption on a major scale.
Enron was an eye-opener to naive lovers of modern capitalism. Our accounting brotherhood, in its entirety, turned out to be corrupt, on the take. With the government absolutely colluding with them and not giving a damn.
Bush’s friend, old Kenny Lay, is still at large and could just as well start some new company tomorrow. If he hasn’t already. No one is punished for squandering the people’s money and their pension funds and for wrecking the economy.
So the corruption predicted by Franklin bears its terrible fruit. No one wants to do anything about it. It’s not even a campaign issue. Once you have a business community that is so corrupt in a society whose business is business, then what you have is, indeed, despotism. It is the sort of authoritarian rule that the Bush people have given us.
Browse 1.6 million of Enron's emails
for free, courtesy of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission
. (Click on the "search iCONECT link in the table on this page, and wait through the slow Java check.
) In among the secret dealings and strategic discussions are personal emails about one night stands and evil mother-in-laws. [via this WSJ article]
If Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected California can say HASTA LA VISTA BABY to 9 billion
according to this article by investigative reporter Greg Palast. According to Palast it turns out that Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter with Ken (Enron) Lay and Michael Milken as part of a campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in illicit profits they carried off. For memories sake here are a few of the the details behind the California energy scam
in this report. Arnold has previously said that he does not remember such a meeting with Ken Lay.
have stories on The final energy report from the GAO on Walker v. Cheney
. You can see the Chronology of the GAO's Attempts
[PDF] to Obtain Information from the National Energy Policy Development Group, and more at the GAO Site
The General Accounting Office sued Vice President Cheney last year to obtain a list of officials from Enron and other companies who met with President Bush's energy task force.
or read the full report: GAO-03-894 "Energy Task Force: Process Used to Develop the National Energy Policy
How Niagara Mohawk and Enron brought energy deregulation to the US. Greg Palast
explores the links between Mohawk, Enron, Bush I, and George Pataki and how their successful attempts at deregulation has left the US with a weaker grid and more expensive energy.
The other shoe is dropping
for the Bush administration. Yes it's old news, but relevant to recent events. Cheney
ordered to name members
of energy panel
. Ken Lay
, pack your bags!
Three-Volume report on Enron released today
Among the findings: "Enron paid zero federal income taxes from 1996 to 1999, despite reporting $2.3 billion in net income during the period" (from the linked article); executives took "1.4 billion" in compensation packages (SFGate has a piece on that
.); and myriad details about the complicated machinations involved to pull this off (Mercury News
). I am among the outraged though, frankly, I feel like they were just taking advantage of the system as it is was in place. If the economy hadn't tanked, this stuff might never have come out.
The New York Times published on Sunday a very favorable report on Ken Lay.
In it, they argue that he was, at least in part, wrongly chastised for his role in the Enron affair. Apparently, we are to believe that the CEO didn't know what was going on inside the company he ran. After news of the report appeared in numerous U.S. media earlier this week, the BBC today counterattacks brutally
(although perhaps not intentionally), describing some of the most ruthless Enron practices - like placing the combined total salary of the top 200 executives salary at one and a half times the company's total earnings (Lay's went from 15m to 164 mil in that period). My question is simple: just what is going on here?
Self-fulfilling Prophecy? Enron video says maybe...
A video from an Enron company party from 1997 shows executives or other employees playing execs making jokes during skits about how to make "a kazillion dollars" et al. Some of the "methods" they speak of apparently are exactly the things that brought the company down. Looks like the cat was let out of the bag in front of a lot of unsuspecting individuals..
Enron course original documents - University of Chicago.
Actg 494: Special topics in Accounting: Accounting and Disclosure After Enron
Enron 'Crooked E' For Sale
"The ultimate symbol of the bankrupt power trader -- one of the ubiquitous chrome signs dubbed "the Crooked E" for its distinctive slant and commentary on the company's questionable dealings -- is on the auction block." The sign is only one of thousands of items up for sale September 25th and 26th, at the Houston Radisson Astrodome
All this week the Chicago Tribune has been running a special in-depth series about the Enron/Anderson debacle.
There's lots of interesting reading here, most of which leaves one shocked at seeing how some American businesses are run. A good starter is Ties to Enron Blinded Anderson
, which shows how the greed of both companies mixed with the old boy's club mantra of 'scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' led to collusion and fraud on level never before known in modern business. Reg: cpunks/cpunks
NY Times Reporter Jumps to His Death:
Matt Drudge reports that New York Times
Business reporter/editor Allen Myerson jumped to death at the NY Times
building in New York City on 43rd Street this morning. Myerson was the Weekend Business Editor at the NY Times
and a member of the Business Journalism Advisory Council
. Among other things, Myerson reported on Enron. An abstract of a Myerson article that appeared in the newspaper last December says, "Enron Corp's failure is having repercussions not just on nation's energy industries, but is being felt through retailing, real estate, insurance, banking, Internet services, newspaper publishing, plastics and glass manufacturing, all of which Enron touched in its boundless appetite for risk and growth."
If You Want to Talk About Class Warfare...
Molly Ivins gives it to 'em: Some days, you have to believe that right-wing ideologues have lost touch with reality completely. Their latest proposal to prevent future Enrons is - ta-da! - cut the capital gains tax. And exactly what does that do to prevent future Enrons? Nothing.
No perp walk for Enron and Halliburton?
Asked to explain why no arrests had been made for these two companies, Larry D. Thompson said, "Some cases are more complex than others."
Does it matter what the penalties are for corporate crime? Seems all you need are the right political connections and an adequately complex scheme to defraud investors and employees. Is the White House protecting corporations with their interpretation of whistle blowers? Aren't preventive measures more appropriate than punishments for these crimes? Does wealth truly create a double standard for prosecution under our legal system?
Clinton Fires Back at Republican Accusations
"There was corporate malfeasance both before he took office and after. The difference is I actually tried to do something about it and their party stopped it. And one of the people who stopped our attempt to stop Enron accounting was made chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission." He also talks about the Middle East and the related "Blame Clinton" movement. I can hear the teeth gnashing already.
, the epitome of corporate evil
, look like they were in bed with enron as well - nice bunch. time to cut up your citibank credit cards?
username: metafilter46 password: metafilter
The President "has more familiarity
with troubled energy companies and accounting irregularities than probably any previous chief executive." (NYTimes link, reg req'd)
Krugman chimes in on Whitehouse outrage to corporate fraud.
(See also, Cheney's investigation regarding Halliburton's accounting while he was it's big cheese)
Angered Bush to Give Speech on Corporate Reforms.
Bush will devote his Saturday radio address to the subject of corporate responsibility and will travel to New York on July 9 to stress the need for better governing at the top level of American businesses.
How many more accounting scandals to go?
A recent show "Bigger than Enron"
on Frontline leads me to wonder, "How MUCH bigger than Enron?" Responses from viewers on that website include a number of accountants for big firms that insist that these practices are everyday business in accounting and that we have a lot more of this coming. Are we actually in the middle of the biggest market crash
since 1929? What do you think? Just how bad could it get?
Bigger than Enron. Why the largest business scandal in American history is just the tip of the iceberg--and why investors should care.
PBS Frontline aired this expose of the Enron/Anderson scandal last night. Included in the report were details of how deregulatory fervor in Congress enabled these sheisters to invent profits out of thin air
Enron cheated California
- The Los Angeles Times
is reporting the discovery of a memo detailing how Enron manipulated prices by fraud
during the power crisis while blaming the problem on powerplants.
One of their strategies was actually called 'Death Star'. Look like the Enron Empire has suffered the same fate as the Palpatine's Empire.
LA Times login: cpunks password: cpunks
Enron Pipeline Leaves Scar on South America
More goodness perpetrated by our favorite guys (and girls) from houston.
Collected TV Ads of Enron.
Quite hilarious. Interesting to be reminded that even Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(second old guy in) was prepared to tart himself around for these shysters. Keep asking: why, Gabriel? Why?
The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
It's all here: Enron, Arthur Andersen, Burger King, Mickey D's, CNN, FOX, and the all time favorite, Microsoft. They had to limit it to 101 moments due to size constraints...
"We're looking at this as something fun for them to do while they're looking for another job".
Playboy is looking for women staff from the collapsed US energy giant Enron to pose for a special issue of the magazine. Via RTFM (weblog, in portuguese)
Farewell Arthur Andersen
- I guess having one corporate basket case
is a misfortune but two
starts to look like carelessness. With tens of thousands of employees and pensions holders across the world, it's a disaster
, for staff, pension holders and clients. Is this tough treatment "a gross abuse of government power"
or a fitting reward for crooked practice?
Enron Fraud dot Com.
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach cordially invites Enron stockholders to partake in their class action lawsuit against the fallen energy baron. Great domain, great layout, great case. How could they lose?
The Wayback machine
shows some biographical reconstructive surgery for the Secretary of the U.S. Army. Post-Enron collapse bio
versus pre-Enron Collapse bio
. 1984 style revisionism meet digital storage technology! [story from NTK
Enron's historical precidents.
This L.A. Times article discusses the historical precidents to the Enron debacle. My favorite (among lots of good stuff):
"Like Enron, ITT was a big campaign contributor. But Geneen's idea of how to use political influence made Lay and associates look like choir boys. In 1970, the company offered Republicans $1 million and consulted heavily with the Nixon White House and the CIA when Chile's new socialist president, Salvador Allende, threatened to seize the ITT-owned Chilean Telephone Co. Allende was overthrown with U.S. aid."