What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune ...
What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question how, exactly, does Enron make its money? Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron's fall.
New in New dust jacket. 1591840082. Book and DJ New. No notes, other names or ANY markings. DJ not price clipped ($26); Signed by McLean at title page, NOT inscribed. Ships in a box, USA.; 435 pages; Signed by Author.
Good in good dust jacket. Signed by author. Inscription signed by McLean. DJ has some wear and soiling. top of some pages dinged. xxv, , 435,  p. Illustrations. Cast of Characters. Index. Today, Enron is the biggest business story of our time, and "Fortune" senior writers McLean and Elkind are the new Woodward and Bernstein. Drawing on a wide range of unique sources, their book follows Enron's rise from obscurity to the top of the business world to its disastrous demise. From Wikipedia: "The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001, eventually led to the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, an American energy company based in Houston, Texas, and the de facto dissolution of Arthur Andersen, which was one of the five largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world. In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history at that time, Enron was attributed as the biggest audit failure. Enron was formed during 1985 by Kenneth Lay after merging Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Several years later, when Jeffrey Skilling was hired, he developed a staff of executives that, by the use of accounting loopholes, special purpose entities, and poor financial reporting, were able to hide billions of dollars in debt from failed deals and projects. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and other executives not only misled Enron's board of directors and audit committee on high-risk accounting practices, but also pressured Andersen to ignore the issues. Shareholders lost nearly $11 billion when Enron's stock price, which achieved a high of US$90 per share during mid-2000, decreased to less than $1 by the end of November 2001. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an investigation, and rival Houston competitor Dynegy offered to purchase the company at a very low price. The deal failed, and on December 2, 2001, Enron filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Enron's $63.4 billion in assets made it the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history until WorldCom's bankruptcy the next year. Many executives at Enron were indicted for a variety of charges and were later sentenced to prison. Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, was found guilty in a United States District Court, but by the time the ruling was overturned at the U.S. Supreme Court, the company had lost the majority of its customers and had closed. Employees and shareholders received limited returns in lawsuits, despite losing billions in pensions and stock prices. As a consequence of the scandal, new regulations and legislation were enacted to expand the accuracy of financial reporting for public companies. One piece of legislation, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, increased consequences for destroying, altering, or fabricating records in federal investigations or for attempting to defraud shareholders. The act also increased the accountability of auditing companies to remain unbiased and independent of their clients." Also from WIkipedia: "Bethany McLean (born December 12, 1970 in Hibbing, Minnesota) is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, and known for her work on the Enron scandal and the 2008 financial crisis. She had been an editor at large and columnist for Fortune and a contributor to Slate....McLean is the co-author, with Fortune colleague Peter Elkind, of The Smartest Guys in the Room, exposing the corrupt business practices of Enron officials. The book was the result of her reporting on Enron for the magazine and she first wrote about Enron with her article in the March 5, 2001 issue of Fortune entitled, "Is Enron Overpriced? ". The book was later made into the Academy Award nominated documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Her column, "The Bulldog", appeared regularly in Fortune. She co-authored a book with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera on the 2008 financial crisis titled All the Devils Are Here, (November 2010). It details what happened and concludes it was not an accident, that banks understood the big picture before the crisis happened but continued with bad practices. McLean joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 2008. She joined Slate as a...
Publishers Weekly, 2003-10-13 Fortune reporter McLean's article in early 2001 questioning Enron's high valuation was cited by many as an early harbinger of the company's downfall, but she refrains from tooting her own horn, admitting that the article "barely scratched the surface" of what was wrong at America's seventh-largest corporation. The story of its plunge into bankruptcy (co-written with magazine colleague Elkind) barely touches upon the personal flamboyances highlighted in earlier Enron books, focusing instead on the shady finances and the corporate culture that made them possible. Former CEO Jeff Skilling gets much of the blame for hiring people who constantly played by their own rules, creating a "deeply dysfunctional workplace" where "financial deception became almost inevitable," but specific accountability for the underhanded transactions is passed on to others, primarily chief financial officer Andrew Fastow, whose financial conflicts of interest are recounted in exacting detail. (Skilling seems to have cooperated extensively with the authors, though clearly not to universal advantage.) A companywide sense of entitlement, particularly at the top executive levels, comes under close scrutiny, although the extravagant habits of those like Ken Lay, while blatant, are presented without fanfare. The real detail is saved for transactions like the deals that led to the California energy crisis and a 1986 scandal, mirroring the problems faced a decade later, that left the company "less than worthless" until a last-minute rescue. The book's sober financial analysis supplements that of Mimi Swartz's Power Failure, while offering additional perspectives that flesh out the details of the Enron story. (Oct. 13) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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