Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Rating = B
This is a
thoroughly disgusting albeit well enough done documentary. These guys were
willing to destroy anything in their pretense of having a money making business
model, and ultimately did destroy the jobs and retirements of their employees,
the retirements of the employees of companies that Enron bought, the State of
California, the energy budgets of institutions and individuals throughout the
country, etc., and they laughed at us and called us all suckers as they did it.
The business press (that always loves an apparent success story) didn't look
hard at the Enron case until it was too late. The financial institutions,
lawyers and accountants were complicit in the fraud rather than turning away
millions of dollars in fees. The government, first in Texas and then in D.C.
explicitly or tacitly supported Enron's cause. The lesson for me is that our
country is too soft on big time white collar criminals. Rob a grocery store at
gun point and you can go away to jail for years. Damage or destroy thousands
or millions of people and its hard to get a conviction that leads to as much
jail time as for the store robber. I think the Chinese may have the right
answer about such corruption: a summary trial and then the firing squad.