January 23, 2002
5:07 PM   Subscribe

The most sensible take I've seen on Enron and Bush. Once all the fuss has died down—Congress is currently planning ten separate inquiries—two good things will probably have come out of the Enron mess. Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees as an especially loyal and malleable class of shareholder; instead, pension funds will have to be diversified. And accounting firms will no longer be allowed to act as paid consultants to the companies they audit, as Arthur Andersen did with Enron. New Yorker link, no registration required.
posted by jfuller (9 comments total)
Ralph Nader noted today that after Whitwater there were 32 recommendations for change. Of these, Congress passed TWO.
posted by Postroad at 5:10 PM on January 23, 2002

Two good things may come out of it, but we need a third thing more than either of those: campaign finance reform (as the article points out). This case screams for it. Maybe in our lifetime?
posted by gimli at 5:27 PM on January 23, 2002

Almost everyone wants campaign finance reform, just like almost everyone wants peace on earth: the devil is in the details. I've never heard a satisfying, realistic reform proposal.
posted by thebigpoop at 6:04 PM on January 23, 2002

Won't get through congress and Shrub won't pass it. DOA, sadly.
posted by owillis at 6:15 PM on January 23, 2002

Good point. It's sort of like negotiating disarmament. What steams me in the Enron case is not so much the endgame, but the way they were able to play the system (both parties, imo) to thwart regulation at every turn.
posted by gimli at 6:23 PM on January 23, 2002

Can we all just get over Enron? You want crime? Look at Cisco's drop in market cap.
posted by Real9 at 7:07 PM on January 23, 2002

"Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees..." and those employees contribute how much to the Congressmen's campaigns?
posted by ArkIlloid at 8:41 PM on January 23, 2002

That is a good article. It's the first one I've read that's captured what I feel is wrong with all of this without being unabashedly ultra-liberal. I doubt, though, that big corporations, Bush's true constituancy, will approve of the changes needed (pension reform, accounting reform, AND campaign finance reform) to keep this sort of thing from happening again.

And an aside:
One must wonder, Real9, if you even bothered to read the article. Generally, it is considered polite to at least listen to what someone is saying before you jump down their throat and go for the jugular, just in case you are attacking them for something they didn't even do.

Granted, I can't be sure this rule applies in your case, but boy do I wonder.
posted by Ptrin at 10:54 AM on January 24, 2002

" Can we all just get over Enron?"

And I'm not getting over the theft of the election either.
So, can we all just get over trying to get over political crime?
posted by nofundy at 9:09 AM on January 25, 2002

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