Money and power are a dangerous combination. Moreover, the loss of money and power can be a deadly one. The problems that have fallen on the Enron Corporation just keep adding up.
The Texas-based energy trader has a very uncertain future, and it’s hard to be sympathetic to them when the people in charge showed no mercy for their workers.
Eight hundred people lost their jobs because of mistakes made by company executives. Fortunately, UBS Warburg, an investment-banking group, and one of the largest financial services in the world, will hire about 650 of Enron’s former employees.
Still that does not extinguish the fact that, they left so many people in limbo when it came to their financial future.
Enron filed the largest bankruptcy suit in United States history, after they admitted to having over $500 million of debt from partnerships led by company executives. Since then, their stock has dropped from $90 a share to about $1.
In an effort to save their own hides, anonymous Enron executives have admitted that Enron used “aggressive accounting tactics” that were uncharacteristic of a major business. This included freezing their assets to prevent investors from selling their stock, while allowing their executives to sell their shares.
“The Washington Post” received minutes from executive board meetings that apparently criticized the actions the company was taking.
Sure, all of Enron’s top executives were netting at least eight-figure salaries, but to say they were not in pursuit of more is hard to believe.
As I said before, the loss of money and power can be a deadly combination.
This tragically proved true after Texas police found former Enron Vice Chairman John Clifford Baxter dead.
According to authorities, the death was an apparent suicide.
After hearing about Baxter’s death, I thought of the stock market crash of 1929; men killed themselves after losing a fortune literally overnight.
Baxter hadn’t lost a fortune. However, it may have been in his near future.
Apparently, after the counsel of Authur Andersen LLP, a worldwide accounting firm, Enron shredded documents confirming they had debt after federal subpoenas and court orders forbid the act.
Enron has lost the respect of the nation, and put an even darker cloud over people who assume the role as business executives.
While people who lost their jobs assume new lives, Enron has made Stephen Cooper interim chief executive. Apparently, Cooper is supposed to be the savior of the company. He is supposed to help the company move on after having such a bad reputation with the nation.
Mr. Cooper, with all the sarcasm within me, good luck.
-Antione Davis for the Editorial Board.