Enron's historical precidents.
February 22, 2002 10:58 PM   Subscribe

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."
posted by electro (9 comments total)
posted by benh57 at 11:38 PM on February 22, 2002

If it's true, I'm glad that the CIA overthrew a socialist south american president who tried to confiscate corporate assets. Thievery should be discouraged, especially when it is from American shareholders.

And, isn't that the point? Count on the LATimes to not get it this badly.
posted by Real9 at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2002

yeah, i read about insull and middle west utilities in the wsj. they said the biggest difference was insull never cashed out and rode it down along with everyone else.

hopefully disclosure and transparency laws are improved so that the SEC and FASB are better equipped, but with the speed at which financial engineering products develop to get around them it always seems like they're stop-gap in nature.
posted by kliuless at 7:18 AM on February 23, 2002

Um, I thought that US Foriegn policy (esp. at that time) was driven by supporting Democracy and Liberty.

Nixon/Kissenger supported (and I actually believe that they planned and executed) a coup that overthrew a democratically elected leader and installed a military dictator who killed a _hell_ of a lot of dissedents. Real9, if you are not aware of the fallout of these events and the systematic lying denials of involvement by our government then maybe you oughtta read up. The fact that corporate influnce lead a President of the US to take this most frightful action against another sovreign government just makes it more sickening.
posted by n9 at 12:18 PM on February 23, 2002

n9, Leaders, however elected, who confiscate private property in the name of socialism are little more than torch wielders at the head of a mob.
posted by Real9 at 12:47 PM on February 23, 2002

Real9: If you think it's more important for a government to respect property rights than to be accountable to its citizens, then I guess we can agree to disagree. You should be aware, however, that the Pinochet regime, the government that the CIA installed, was responsible for rounding up, torturing and murdering thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens who just got in the way.
posted by electro at 1:23 PM on February 23, 2002

electro, You're right. I've always cleaved to the notion that property rights > legal system > political system. As for Pinochet, he's logical equivalent of a false alternative.
posted by Real9 at 1:42 PM on February 23, 2002

Well, in any event, thanks Real9, for livening up an otherwise dreary thread. I really enjoyed the article and thought others might as well. I think I picked a bad quote to illustrate it, since the article isn't particularly political.

My other favorite part was the persistent theme (going back a hundred years at least) of business leaders dismissing the criticisms of their elders (who had lived through previous downturns). "They just don't get it."
posted by electro at 3:23 PM on February 23, 2002

Man, Real9, and they thought that *I* was a troll. Phew. Too hot in the hot tub!
posted by n9 at 9:59 PM on February 23, 2002

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