Reasons to still care about Enron

July 11th, 2004 – 9:21 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

The always brilliant Billmon has returned from hiatus with an impressive post about the arrest of Enron’s Ken Lay. He starts of by talking about how the media seems to be determined not to really give a damn about the whole thing.

I’ve been reading some of the mainstream media coverage of the indictment of Enron’s “Kenny Boy” Lay this week, and as usual, I’m struck not just by the cluelessness of much of it, but also the vast cynicism, which in this case takes the form of a general belief that nobody really cares about the Enron scandal any more – or should.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – the SCLM being what it is. But it still seems remarkable to me that the most outrageous corporate scandal in modern memory (and the template, in a sense, for all the ones that followed) can so easily be dismissed as old news.

Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t the fact that several of Enron’s unindicted co-conspirators – like the Vice President of the United States and the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – are still on the public payroll, and apparently still involved in the cover up, count for something?

Apparently not. The coverage of Lay’s little perp walk was about two-third celebrity journalism (about on par with an E Channel documentary on the life and times of Morton Downey Jr.) and one-third desultory political speculation, in which the usual pundits expressed the conventional wisdom that the explosion of corporate crime that marked the final years of the ’90s bubble is now just ancient history, and thus will have little or no impact on the election.

It’s a fairly long piece, but well worth a read if you want to learn more about the whole Enron scandal, including the ties to the California energy “crisis” and the close ties between Enron and various parts of the Bush administration.

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