Throughout the late 1990s, Enron was almost universally considered one of the country's most innovative companies -- a new-economy maverick that forsook musty, old industries with their cumbersome hard assets in favor of the freewheeling world of e-commerce. The company continued to build power plants and operate gas lines, but it became better known for its unique trading businesses. Besides buying and selling gas and electricity futures, it created whole new markets for such oddball "commodities" as broadcast time for advertisers, weather futures, and Internet bandwidth. If there were justice in the world, we could all sit back and relax, knowing that Enron executives got what they deserved for their corruption and mismanagement. The problem is, Enro
Unless we uses this scandal as an opportunity to clean up the system and make significant changes in the structure of corporate governance, this will be seen around the world as just one more case of American hypocrisy. n"tms collapse has put thousands of innocent Americans out of work and wiped out the retirement portfolios of thousands more. When Enron stock took a nose dive last fall, its corporate captains decided not to go down with the ship. Enron employees weren"tmt the only ones harmed. Individually, and collectively, Enron's management failed to carry out its substantive responsibility for ensuring that the transactions were fair to Enron--which in many cases they were not. In fact, Lay lied to Enron"tms small investors, telling them that the company"tms future had never looked brighter. Yet Enron's bankruptcy -- the largest in U. Some of our political and economic leaders have tried to portray the Enron collapse as a problem limited to one company and certain individuals. By the time investors knew that the company was bankrupt, it was too late. It's success was partly due to bribing government officials to reduce oversight and remove regulations. Enron's downfall, caused in part by the accounting treatment of a series of partnerships and ventures affiliated with the Houston energy trader, has thrown thousands of employees out of work and has cost the company's pensioners and investors billions of dollars in stock value losses. As if that"tms not bad enough, after years of encouraging their employees to invest their retirement savings almost exclusively in Enron stock, Enron leaders banned those same employees from selling that stock even as the prices plummeted and while they themselves were bailing out.
Some topics in this essay:
, Enron--which Enrons, enron stock, crony capitalism,
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