Power Failure: The Insidde Story of the Collapse of ENRON (signed
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A propos de cet article
Titre : Power Failure: The Insidde Story of the ...
Éditeur : New York: Doubleday, 2003. 1st ed. [Stated]. Hardcover. 386 pages.
Date d'édition : 2003
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat du livre :Very Good
Etat de la jaquette : Very Good
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : 1st Edition
A propos de ce titre
“They’re still trying to hide the weenie,” thought Sherron Watkins as she read a newspaper clipping about Enron two weeks before Christmas, 2001. . . It quoted [CFO] Jeff McMahon addressing the company’s creditors and cautioning them against a rash judgment. “Don’t assume that there is a smoking gun.”
Sherron knew Enron well enough to know that the company was in extreme spin mode...
Power Failure is the electrifying behind-the-scenes story of the collapse of Enron, the high-flying gas and energy company touted as the poster child of the New Economy that, in its hubris, had aspired to be “The World’s Leading Company,” and had briefly been the seventh largest corporation in America.
Written by prizewinning journalist Mimi Swartz, and substantially based on the never-before-published revelations of former Enron vice-president Sherron Watkins, as well as hundreds of other interviews, Power Failure shows the human face beyond the greed, arrogance, and raw ambition that fueled the company’s meteoric rise in the late 1990s. At the dawn of the new century, Ken Lay’s and Jeff Skilling's faces graced the covers of business magazines, and Enron’s money oiled the political machinery behind George W. Bush’s election campaign. But as Wall Street analysts sang Enron’s praises, and its stock spiraled dizzyingly into the stratosphere, the company’s leaders were madly scrambling to manufacture illusory profits, hide its ballooning debt, and bully Wall Street into buying its fictional accounting and off-balance-sheet investment vehicles. The story of Enron’s fall is a morality tale writ large, performed on a stage with an unforgettable array of props and side plots, from parking lots overflowing with Boxsters and BMWs to hot-house office affairs and executive tantrums.
Among the cast of characters Mimi Swartz and Sherron Watkins observe with shrewd Texas eyes and an insider’s perspective are: CEO Ken Lay, Enron’s “outside face,” who was more interested in playing diplomat and paving the road to a political career than in managing Enron’s high-testosterone, anything-goes culture; Jeff Skilling, the mastermind behind Enron’s mercenary trading culture, who transformed himself from a nerdy executive into the personification of millennial cool; Rebecca Mark, the savvy and seductive head of Enron’s international division, who was Skilling’s sole rival to take over the company; and Andy Fastow, whose childish pranks early in his career gave way to something far more destructive. Desperate to be a player in Enron’s deal-making, trader-oriented culture, Fastow transformed Enron’s finance department into a “profit center,” creating a honeycomb of financial entities to bolster Enron’s “profits,” while diverting tens of millions of dollars into his own pockets
An unprecedented chronicle of Enron’s shocking collapse, Power Failure should take its place alongside the classics of previous decades – Barbarians at the Gate and Liar’s Poker – as one of the cautionary tales of our times.
Something strange happened to the Enron Corporation in the early 1990s: It went from a company that traded in tangible goods to one that dealt in pure abstractions, with shoddy accounting practices, astonishing compensation packages, and smoke and mirrors to obfuscate this new reality.
Company auditors, Sherron Watkins among them, warned top Enron execs from CEO Kenneth Lay on down that the company’s increasing reliance on cooked books and phony reports "will implode in a wave of accounting scandals." As anyone who played the stock market or watched Enron suits do the perp walk on the evening news a couple of years ago will remember, that’s exactly what happened. Texas Monthly editor Swarz and Watkins team up to offer this account, rich in anecdote and numbers alike, of what went wrong and who made it so. Though even-handed throughout, they serve up plenty of righteous scorn for the corporate leaders who enriched themselves as the company disintegrated, and for the name-brand politicians who abetted them.
Though Osama bin Laden’s pawns barely dented the U.S. economy, observes Alex Berenson in The Number, Lay and his lieutenants brought it to its knees. Swartz’s and Watkins’s eye-opening account will rekindle new indignation over unpunished crimes and well-rewarded hubris, and it ought to be required reading in business schools henceforth. --Gregory McNamee
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