ENRON SCANDAL- THE FALL OF A WALL STREETThe story ofEnronCorp. is the story of a company that reached dramatic heights, only to face a dizzying fall. Its collapse affected thousands of employees and shookWall Street to its core. At Enron's peak, its shares were worth $90.75; when it declaredbankruptcyon December 2, 2001, they were trading at $0.26. To this day, many wonder how such a powerfulbusiness, at the time one of the largest companies in the U.S,disintegrated almost overnight and how it managed to fool the regulators with fake holdings and off-the-books accounting for so long.Enron was formed in 1985, following a merger between Houston Natural Gas Co. and Omaha-based Inter North Inc. Following the merger, Kenneth Lay, who had been the chief executive officer(CEO) of Houston Natural Gas, became Enron's CEO and chairman and quickly rebranded Enron into an energy trader and supplier. Deregulationof the energy markets allowed companies to place bets on future prices, and Enron was poised to take advantage.The era's regulatory environment also allowed Enron to flourish. At the end of the 1990s, the dot-com bubblewas in full swing, and the Nasdaqhit 5,000. Revolutionary internet stockswere being valued at preposterous levels and consequently, most investors and regulators simply accepted spiking share prices as the new normal.
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