Yet with so many politicians from both political parties being the recipients of Enron's political donations in both hard and soft money, objective justice may not be easy. Moreover, Enron was generous to the last cent of other people money! Its corporate leaders funded business schools and scholarships, and gave and gave to the United Way! Even Houston's giant sports arena, home to the Astros baseball team, carries the name "Enron Field," a little vanity that cost a mere $100 million for a 30-year deal.
Enron had the best brains that money could buy, but gave the word "ethics" a whole new meaning. The cowboys of Dumpty Enron talked up a storm about ethics; but only a few at the top realized that "ethics" was an acronym for "Enron thinks how income can (be) stolen."
That's a stretch; but look at their 1994 sales team - Clinton, Gore and the late Ron Brown - a trio unlimited and uncontrolled in their cunning and greed.
In what seems to be eons ago, before Gov. Bill Clinton became president, the late, much loved and little lamented Ron Brown was Clinton's good friend and a power broker in the National Democratic Party. Ron Brown had a friend, a congressman from Houston, the late Mickey Leland, who died in 1989. Until his passing, Leland was a shining light in the Congressional Black Caucus and a dedicated socialist, who was one of the Institute for Policy Studies' delights.
From 1984, when Enron was conceived, Brown and Leland were there snapping up unconsidered trifles of money for use in their campaigns against the free market. Mickey was able to ease a lot of Enron's early problems through the Houston City Council by playing his "equal opportunity card." He had also become an African expert who initially took the Enron message to that continent, a chore that was taken on by Ron Brown, Clinton's secretary of commerce, before the latter met his untimely death in a highly controversial plane crash in Croatia. (Untimely, because had Secretary Brown lived, he would have faced multiple criminal indictments that could have precipitated an even earlier fall for Bill Clinton and his gang.)
Now we get to that old puzzle about chickens and eggs, and what came first! Ron Brown, Al Gore and Bill Clinton introduced Enron to market managers in Russia, China, Indonesia and India. In India, Enron quickly became involved in one of that country's most massive corruption investigations, contracts were canceled and Enron was out.
On the other hand, Enron introduced the Clinton team to Lippo Industries and thence to China's People's Liberation Army (a wonderful source of political cash), to John Huang, another good provider and to nameless, numberless Arabs who never arrived with empty pockets. If we look at a list of those attending coffee klatches at the White House, we can learn why a storm of doubtful deals enabled Enron to quickly control one-quarter of the world's electricity and natural gas. But, that wasn't enough. The ever-so-greedy Dumpty moved in to water deals in Massachusetts and Europe, paper mills in Canada, gas pipe lines throughout the world, fiber optics, television, mutual funds and information gathering. In turn, that led to risk analysis, a name that those clever Texans quickly changed to "reward realization!"
The rewards were good! Enron, with sales assistance from Tony Lake, then Clinton's national security adviser, persuaded the impoverished, war-torn country of Mozambique to sign a $770 million electric power contract. Mozambique signed because Tony's salesmanship was persuasive. If the Mozambicans didn't sign, he indicated that their congressionally approved $44 million U.S. aid payment would never be made.
And there was the Croatian caper. In the days when Franjo Tudjman was Croatia's dictator and pretending to be both a reformed communist and best friend of America in the Balkans, poor Franjo had a problem. He and some of his very best friends were wanted as war criminals by the Hague's International Court of Justice. Enron wanted a power contract with Croatia. Enron offered a deal to Tudjman. Sign up with us and we will use our gang in Washington to make sure you and your friends don't go to jail.
Tudjman signed. Enron made a heap of money. Nobody went to jail. Everyone was happy - until Tudjman died of cancer. Then the lid was off, his Croatian Democratic Union was defeated and the new boys in power in Zagreb could not believe how much of their budget went to pay the electricity bills from Enron.
Somebody - probably another Dr. Spock child eager to tell on his peers - prattled! Under quiet pressure from the Croats, another deal was made and a couple of guys were charged as war criminals. Electricity costs went down (but not to the consumers) and as a part of the deal nobody talked, except about the wonderful vacations that they were enjoying in the Caribbean.
Links on enron scandal in november 2001....
This link gives a timeline.....some pretty heady stuff. Bush sealed all record of previous presidents because of the war in afghanistan. Executive order seals all records, including president clinton.
Enron Goes Bankrupt December 2, 2001: Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York for 14 affiliated entities, including Enron, Enron North America, Enron Energy Services, Enron Transportation Services, Enron Broadband Services, and Enron Metals & Commodity Corporation. Enron was formerly the world's largest electricity and natural gas trading company, and the seventh-largest publicly-traded energy company in the world. Enron also files a $10 billion lawsuit against Dynegy, alleging breach of contract, in connection with Dynegy's November 28 termination of its proposed merger with Enron. (DJ)