ENRON~Revisited-Lest we forget

http://antwerp.files.wordpress.com/2006/07/enron.jpgThe story of ENRON is like a Greek tragedy, that was doomed to be a disaster from the very onset. The tragedy brought on by the protagonists in this story on themselves had seeds in the actions they took while they were falling prey to their perpetual greed. The people like Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling who started out like heroes to the business world and investors, had become villains for thousands of American public including ENRON investors and employees. As corporate heads they might have made millions of dollars but somewhere along the line, the so called “smartest guys in the room” failed to follow the basics of business ethics and corporate governance. As leaders, when they should have put forward a corporate vision that incorporated some value system, all they ever talked about was earning more money. Following their lead, all the ENRON traders ever wanted to do was to keep bringing in more and more money, come what may. Mistakes were committed, to hide those mistakes, cheating was done, to hide one cheating another was done and so on, till it all came upon them crashing. Like a classic tragedy, all the people whether good or bad became contributers to the eventual downfall of a company that was once seen as the future of energy. It’s a classic case of corporate mis-governance, where all those who were supposed to be responsible institutions and businessmen, were blinded by the shine of freshly minted money. These big names included some of the biggest banks, America’s oldest accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, reputed stock analysts. All of them could see something was wrong, but none of them cared about anything as long as the money was pouring in. The people at the helm, that included Mr. Lay , Mr. Skilling and CFO Andy Fastow, who thought that they could control everything, eventually lost control to the thousands of traders they had trained like horses on the race course, with blinkers around their eyes they could only see what they were told to, i.e. “dollars”. They didn’t see what they were doing could lead the company to an abyss. They were exploiting all the loopholes in the rules and regulations.They were so irrational that they acted on their own will, knowing that their corporate heads were happy and good about everything as long as they earned money for the company. While traders were doing their job, their heads were using all the tricks in the accounting books to show fictional profits to keep their stock prices rising even when the company was in big debt. They were paying themselves big bonuses based on the fact that somehow profits will come from their false future projections. But, in fact they had been axing down the tree they had grown, while at the same time decorating it with false fruits that never seemed to wither away. However, there was only one problem….. The tree fell and the fruits were useless….


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