Heroes at Enron

I will be writing a paper arguing why the guys at Enron were smarter than everyone else, how they did things that no one had even though of, how they were visionaries, and how America failed to learn an important lesson.  I want to focus on a different side of Enron and how they, through their legal, but shady business dealings, exploited the system and made a fortune.  I will focus mainly on their energy deals in California and the resulting outcry from the American public in general.  Power will be the topic of my paper and how the internal power structure of Enron allowed people, more specifically the traders, to exploit the weaknesses they found without punishment. I will also investigate the power structure of our government and how it resembles that of Enron’s. Continue reading

What was in the water at Enron?

While reading The Smartest Guys in the Room, I became increasingly angry about the Enron scandal and it disgusted me in terms of the level of corruption within the company.  In my oversimplified 7th grade memory of the Enron scandal, I thought that Ken Lay was a terrible person who was the cause of the downfall of Enron.  While reading Smartest Guys in the Room, I realized that there was no one person who was the downfall of Enron, but that so many people within Enron were just as responsible as Ken Lay.  I didn’t understand how so many people could act unethically and at times illegally, to increase profits.  What could possibly make a group of smart people with such high degrees from Ivy League schools act the way Enron did?  Why couldn’t they see any of the possible ramifications of their actions, or if they did why did they decide to ignore the signs?  What was in the water they were drinking that made some of the smartest guys in the room act so stupidly? Continue reading

Business Ethics: A Moral Compass or A Way To Justify Actions

Yes, I checked an ethics book out of the library. For those of you that know me, this is decidedly uncharacteristic and maybe even a bit ironic. (@Middleman: those discussions in Business, Government, and Society come to mind!) And I’m not saying I’m unethical, just that I tend to gravitate towards the legality of an issue before I orient the moral compass north. Think of it as more of a magnetic north (legality) than the true north (ethics). In any case, while perusing the New Books section, I came across “The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics”. I was intrigued, not only because I find ethics to always be an interesting exploration, but also because it has some Continue reading