From Armani Suits to an Orange Jumper: How’s Old Jeff Doing?

Well it has been almost 7 years since the Enron debacle and about 4 years since Jeffery Skilling was sentenced to over 24 years in prison (late in 2006).  So I figured I would write my blog post on a sort of “catch up with Jeff” inquiry.  He was originally sentenced to a high-level security prison FCI Waseca (located in southern Minnesota), but has since been moved to a low-security prison (in Littelton, CO) since his previous home was being converted to an all women prison.  Continue reading


Enron Tarnishes the Practice of Securitization

One of Enron’s greatest tools for making money and hiding and removing risk from their Annual Report was securitization (sort of).  The Enron crisis and bankruptcy brought to light many things about securitization, some good and some bad.  It was a wake up call to politicians, businesses, and scholars that securitization though beneficial has huge dangers.  This realization had some effects. Continue reading

The Most Exciting Thing to Come Out of Enron! (and other corporate scandals)

This is something so captivating that Playboy, Lou Pai’s strippers, and Ken Lay conspiracy theorists can’t even shake a stick at it. That’s right, I’m talking about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that forever changed the way public corporations report earnings and shook up the auditing world. What is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act you may ask? Well, Sarbox or SOX as it is affectionately called in the business world, consists of 11 titles aimed at limiting conflicts of interest between auditors and clients, strengthening corporate accountability laws, and increasing penalties for people like our friends Kenny boy and Jeff.

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Incubating the Infidels!

The collapse of Enron in Houston left around 4,500 employees without a job. Enron was known for hiring some of the best and brightest candidates in the country, so despite involvement in the fraudulent downfall of this corporate giant, these jobless employees were very smart, accomplished individuals. However, their association with Enron after the collapse tainted their reputations making it very difficult for them to obtain jobs in the Houston area. Without an income, these employees realized that re-locating might be their only option if they wanted to continue supporting themselves and their families.

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From Fraud to Freedom

Rebecca Mark seems to have traded in her business suits and stilettos.  Today, a more apt picture of her would be lounging on one of her huge ranches, basking in the glory of have exited Enron at precisely the right time.

My blog topic from last week centered on Mark and I have spent the past week writing an essay about her, so I figure I would check out what she is up to these days.  Never one known for resting on her laurels while at Enron, her post-Enron life has been pretty relaxed. Continue reading

Multiple ways to attain a high share price

After seeing the negative consequences that occurred in the Enron scandal, many businesses have made an effort to change the way they operate in order to avoid similar results. Enron’s greatest downfall was that they focused only on attaining a high share price while failing to attend other important aspects of the business. There are other social, economic and environmental activities that could be measured in order to make positive impact on the business. Enron knew that their finances were being observed, measured and recorded by shareholders and Wall Street; therefore, they made all the possible changes or modifications in their financial statements to meet the high expectations of the market. As for the other activities mentioned, they could afford to slack off since they weren’t being measured. Seeing the negative effects by paying attention to this, there has been an effort by agencies to begin measuring these types of activities because they could become opportunities to create a sustainable business.  The Boston-based non-profit CERES formed The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in order to allow companies report their periodic social responsibility and environmental reports. The GRI was modeled after GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) which is the standard framework of guidelines for financial accounting used in American companies. The GRI, on the other hand, has guidelines to measure environmental, social and economic reporting and give them the same importance as financial reports since these are aspects that could also influence investors. Eventually the GRI and GAAP could be combined to inform the company’s financial and non-financial outlook and make them both equally important for the success of the organization. In a wired world where people are better informed of the organizations activities, creating measurements for non-financial activities can also improve the share price of the company.

Richard Kinder: The Smartest Guy in the Room?

Richard Kinder is probably one of the forgotten names of Enron because he left the company long before things got out of control. Kinder was at one point next in line for the CEO throne, working as the company’s COO for six years and one of the main reasons for its success. Ken Lay himself had promised that he would step down as CEO when his contract expired at the end of 1996 and that Kinder would fill his position. However in 1996, Lay decided he was not ready to leave Enron and so Kinder left the company. This was a major turning point in Enron’s history. Although Kinder might have done some things that initially led Enron down in its road of financial fraud, nothing illegal happened on his watch. He was one of the few Enron executives who knew what the limits were and knew how to stay within them. Continue reading