enron - Criminology Thomas 12/9/11 The Smartest Guys in the...

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Criminology Thomas 12/9/11 The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind takes a deeper look into the modern day tragedy of Enron Inc . The story of Enron, to the everyday person, is simply the base line for fraud and corruption in today’s corporate America . However, this book shows the true story behind Enron, and how one of America’s largest and seemingly most indestructible companies went bankrupt in a matter of days . The real story comes with the people that raised Enron into one of the world’s most powerful companies, and how they lost it all through greed, arrogance, and corruption . Ken Lay founded Enron in 1985 . Lay graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in economics . He then went on to get his Ph.D. from the University of Houston . With his extensive background in economics Lay began to work for Exxon Mobil, and thus began his life in the energy business . He soon began to get involved in the natural gas market, which led him to propose the idea of the deregulating energy . With this, Enron began to grow at a rapid pace, having their assets grow by $50 billion in the matter of a short fifteen years . Enron led people to believe that their success came from their incredible innovative ideas on how to sell and use energy . However, the problem was that only the executives, traders, and large shareholders enjoyed the riches . Much of this “success”
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was due in large part to the team that Ken Lay had put together . The most important hire Lay made was in 1990 when he hired Jeffery Skilling . Skilling, a brilliant mind, earned his M .B.A. from Harvard and began working in the energy business in 1979. After impressing Lay in 1990 with his consulting, it did not take long for Skilling to rapidly move up the Enron chain of command; eventually becoming the C .E.O. Skilling came in and really instilled his ideals throughout the entire company . Skilling had a very Darwinian way of looking at things, and believed that money was the sole driving force in business and life . For example, Skilling was quoted saying “You buy loyalty with money . This touchy-feely stuff isn’t as important as cash. That’s
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course CRIM 10000 taught by Professor Thomas during the Fall '11 term at Notre Dame.

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enron - Criminology Thomas 12/9/11 The Smartest Guys in the...

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