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Bill Pierce
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5710
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 08:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm sure he has his supporters, but I have no tears at the news of the death of Enron Corporation founder Kenneth Lay at age 64 of a heart attack. In fact, I take special umbrage at the fact he will now never serve a day of the long sentence that remained to be handed down after his conviction on multiple counts of fraud and perjury.

I never owned a share of Enron stock, nor did I know personally any of the thousands of employee stockholders who lost a total of billions in the largest financial collapse in history. However, I see what occurred as a monument to greed and hubris on an unprecedented scale. Lay and his fellow executive Jeffrey Skilling treated employees, businesses, individuals and government as dupes to be fleeced, believing they were so supremely clever and intelligent that they would never be caught and held accountable for their deeds. They numbered among their special friends the holders of the highest offices in the land.

I hope there is a special place in Hell reserved for Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. If I were the judge in the case and had I the sentencing latitude, I would have ordered them to forfeit all financial and personal property. Each would have been left with one suit of clothes on his back, forced to live on the street for the rest of his miserable life and never allowed to have any cash or other property in his possession. They would have been entitled to one meal per day at a homeless shelter and a sleeping space indoors on the floor on nights when the temperature fell below freezing, provided they were back outside by 6:00 AM.

The need for what Enron sought to do continues to evade my understanding. The notion of "making a market" for a commodity such as energy that is essential to life as we know it is as alien and abhorrent as artificially creating a market for human health. As I see it, energy should be managed as a public trust, not a profit-making commodity that enriches a few at the expense of the many who have no control over its supply and who require it for their lives.

If that were the case, I acknowledge there might well be inefficiencies and inequities that come with all publicly managed functions, but there never could have been the monumental fraud and financial loss that occurred with Enron. I know there is a large reservoir of anger on the part of former employees, but I continue to be amazed by those people who seemed to be cheering for Lay and Skilling and wishing somehow they could have pulled off such a deal themselves.

Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4234
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 09:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He's not really dead, Bill. He just boarded a plane to Fiji this morning. His "body" will be cremated this afternoon, mark my words.

Bill Pierce
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5711
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good point, Chumley. I should know better. They are probably cloning him already in Paraguay.

Senior Member
Username: Elkski

Post Number: 1666
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 12:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ARe you guys saying the CIA took him out so he wouldn't spill the beans?
After he was sentenced to the rest of his life there was not going to be much reason not to talk about his direct dealings with the Bushies.
Or it could have just been the stress that killed him.
Using the gun analogy. Son of a preacher! I think we should outlaw preachers!
Rip them lips!

Intermediate Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 315
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 01:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I saw a brief blurb on Fox News y-day at the radio station, and the anchor was suggesting that nobody really knew how or what Enron did . . He compared it to a pyramid scheme.

He then went on to say that Ken Lay is now answering questions to someone who matters!!

Kinda tacky I thought for a news guy on Fox.

Bill Pierce
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5718
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 02:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Enron was a pyramid scheme of sorts. They created wealth by claiming potential profit as actual profit and creating "hot air" that kept the stock price rising and the value of the company increasing. There are only so many people who are willing to invest and the value can only grow so much. When the truth is inevitably revealed, the price comes crashing back down, which is exactly what occurred. It's just that Lay and Skilling and others were relatively clever at concealing what was behind the curtain and in convincing people they had invented a new way of doing business. It took a Fortune magazine reporter's careful digging and a couple of disgruntled whistle blowers to bring the balloon down.

Lay's demented genius was that he believed he could "make a market" for anything, especially energy, but also including such novel things as weather disturbances and natural disasters. These people say they are "normalizing risk," but really what they seek is to make a small commission on all of the trading. I believe Tom Wolfe compared it in Bonfire of the Vanities to stealing a crumb or two from every piece of cake.

Lay took a traditional, "boring" industry, natural gas transmission, combined it with public utilities and tried to create a "new paradigm." Among the problems are that employees of these companies tend to be steady, hardworking people who place their future in the hands of their employers. When the balloon burst it was those poor folks, most of whom had no knowledge or interest in new paradigms, who lost the security they thought they had built over their lifetimes.

Scott Manning
Intermediate Member
Username: Liquidbreaddiet

Post Number: 380
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not sure if you caught this or not yesterday on fox news. But its funny how the republicans where quick to start rumors about Hillary and Bill taking out (damn his name escapes me) but the minute anyone says that Bush/Cheney ordered the offing of Lay - they claim you are not a patriot!!! There are so many individuals in the Bush administration that had huge ties to Ken Lay and Enron. Including those who paved the way for the original public utilities company in oregon that ken lay managed to be moved from Oregon to create Enron in Texas. It wasn't just the employees or stock holders of enron that were hurt. Enron drove up the cost of utilities to California, Oregon, washington etc. This aided in turning a growing economy to a receeding one. I for one am very sad that he is dead- I wanted to see him rot in jail.

Bill Pierce
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5723
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 05:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Scott, you're probably referring to Vince Foster, who was the Clintons' personal attorney in Arkansas and then went to work in the White House. His death was ruled a suicide, but this has not satisfied hardcore Clinton-bashers or conspiracy theorists. To me, the fact that Ken Starr, who clearly wanted to discredit the Clinton White House, was unable to uncover any wrongdoing is sufficient, but others are entitled to a different opinion.

Yes, part of the cost of Enron was paid by almost all of us. In addition to higher electric rates and natural gas prices, the stock market crash of 2000-2001 and the spectacular failures of companies such as Enron and Worldcom had effects on nearly everyone. There is hardly a person who doesn't have an IRA, 401(k) or other retirement plan.

And I might add this should give pause to those who want to privatize Social Security and allow people to manage much more of their retirement investments. Some of the biggest backers of this are brokerage firms, large banks, insurance companies and pension fund managers, the same groups that were champions of Enron and Ken Lay just six or seven years ago.

(Message edited by BillPierce on July 06, 2006)

Magnus Graham
Username: Cellarman

Post Number: 237
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 10:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Money money money, its a rich man's world.
I'm too much of a socialist to get involved. Surely if you gamble in stocks and shares, you pays your money you makes your choice. Shares can go up as well as down. Was his offence lying or breaking the rules of the stock market or were there no rules? Problem is that our (your) pensions are gambled on these guys.

Some jockeys over here are being charged with race fixing...gamblers...mugs...ha ha!

Am I seriously misinfomed and ignorant?

keep it simple they've made beer for millennia
mash it boil it hop it yeast it drink it

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