Sunday, May 01, 2005

An amazing propaganda

Rogert Ebert has a review of the new documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room:
This is not a political documentary. It is a crime story. No matter what your politics, "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" will make you mad. It tells the story of how Enron rose to become the seventh largest corporation in America with what was essentially a Ponzi scheme, and in its last days looted the retirement funds of its employees to buy a little more time.

There is a general impression that Enron was a good corporation that went bad. The movie argues that it was a con game almost from the start. It was "the best energy company in the world," according to its top executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. At the time they made that claim, they must have known that the company was bankrupt, had been worthless for years, had inflated its profits and concealed its losses through bookkeeping practices so corrupt that the venerable Arthur Anderson accounting firm was destroyed in the aftermath.
What I find amazing is that, given that Enron had been looting enormous loads of money out of the economy throughout the Clinton administration only to be exposed in the first year of the Bush administration, Democrats proclaimed Enron as emblematic of President Bush's stewardship of the economony.


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