by Drudge Jr.
The home of the Houston Astros isn't called "Enron" just
because it sounds like "ten run." Energy giant Enron Corp.,
bought the rights to the name of the field when it was built,
however they may not hold the name for long.
In late November Enron was out of money, their executives
were preparing for a buyout from rival corporation Dynegy,
however when Dynegy backed out of the merger, Enron was left
penniless and disorganized (this was among many problems that
caused Enron's collapse). After filing for Chapter 11, a motion
that protects a company against potential actions from creditors,
it seemed like it was over. Stock that was once worth $80
a share dropped to 21 cents. 4,000 former employees of Enron
lost their life savings, Enron had toppled with hard hitting
Oh well, the larger they are the harder they fall, right?
Well there's much more going on here then a name of a stadium
Enron's executives knew about the approaching bankruptcy
months before it became apparent. Their goal was clear, to
squeeze as much money out of Enron before they went from filthy,
stupid rich to only slightly dirty rich. Two months before
the collapse an E-mail from Enron's CEO Kenneth Lay circulated
to its employees. The message was clearly misleading, "Our
performance has never been stronger; our business model has
never been more robust. We have the finest organization in
American business today," Lay says.
Why would Lay want to mislead his employees so? Because if
morale stays strong and stock stays up he will have enough
time to dump his stock, and that's exactly what he, and several
other executives, did. The end result, Enron execs escaped
with around $1 billion. Okay, so 4,000 lives are ruined and
Ken Lay can afford another Caribbean island, case closed.
Sadly that's not the whole story. Enron is the one of the
chief contributors to political campaigns, mostly for republican
candidates. Fifteen members of Bush's cabinet have, or had,
a significant amount of stock in Enron. Also, Enron practically
funded Bush's campaign, giving him piles of soft money and
even a personal jet. Bush's Economic advisor Larry Lindsey
went straight from a job at Enron to Bush's cabinet. Federal
Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick did the same, and
presidential advisor Karl Rove and Secretary of the army Thomas
E. White both owned millions in Enron stock.
So when Enron is in the dumps where does it turn for a favor?
Washington. Kenneth Lay met with Vice President Cheney three
times and other Enron execs placed calls to the White House
and key Bush cabinet members. At this point, it is unclear
whether Bush took steps to prevent Enron's collapse.
It's not hard to see what was going on here. Lay wanted help
from the government to escape chapter 11 and to prevent the
exposure he's getting now as a heartless thief. When that
didn't work, Lay's lawyers ordered all Enron employees to
destroy any audit documents in their possession. That's called
a cover up kids. Now Lay's last hope is to get his buddies
on Capitol Hill to keep him out from behind bars.
Bush will probably try to stay out of the mess and allow
an indictment of Kenneth Lay, but that doesn't put the twisted
corruption of politicians to rest. Third parties are literally
buying candidates and now we are seeing what it could do.
The solution is difficult but reachable - campaign finance
reform, the kind advocated by Senator John McCain of Arizona,
that would put a limit on soft money and eventually curtail
the favors large corporations receive in exchange for campaign
Kenneth Lay and anyone who took advantage of Enron's collapse
is as much a criminal as any thief or con man. Kenneth Lay
is an extortionist and his cover up is only further proof
of his guilt. We have now publicly seen the greed of the heartless
bureaucracy of big business.
Jr. is 14, and used to do radio on WABC and WNEW, until he
was fired. These articles also appear in his school paper.