Enron had the largest bankruptcy in America’s history and it happened in less than a year because of scandals and manipulation Enron displayed with California’s energy supply. A few years ago, Enron was the world’s 7th largest corporation, valued at 70 billion dollars. At that time, Enron’s business model was full of energy and power. Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling had raised Enron to stand on a culture of greed, lies, and fraud, coupled with an unregulated accounting system, which caused Enron to go down. Lies were being told by top management to the government, its employees and investors. There was a rise in Enron 's share price because of pyramid scheme; their strategy consisted of claiming so much money to easily get away with their tricky ways. They deceived their investors so they could keep investing their money in the company.
Enron Corporation was an energy company founded in Omaha, Nebraska. The corporation chose Houston, Texas to home its headquarters and staffed about 20,000 people. It was one of the largest natural gas and electricity providers in the United States, and even the world. In the 1990’s, Enron was widely considered a highly innovative, financially booming company, with shares trading at about $90 at their highest points. Little did the public know, the success of the company was a gigantic lie, and possibly the largest example of white-collar crime in the history of business.
The story of Enron is truly remarkable. As a company it merely controlled the electricity, natural gas and communications sectors of the world. It reported (key word, reported) revenues over one hundred billion US dollars and was presented America’s Most Innovative Company by Fortune magazine for six sequential years. But, with power comes greed and Enron from its inception employed people who set their eyes upon money, prestige, power or a combination of the three. The gluttony took over sectors which the company could not operate proficiently nor successfully.
Enron was one of the largest corporations in the United States. Enron was reporting revenues of over $100 billion, and its stock was being sold for $80 a share (Goethals, Sorenson, & Burns, 2004). However, it was using shady and unethical business practices, such as listing inflating its revenue and hiding debts in special purpose entities. Eventually, their faulty accounting caught up with them, and their market share plummeted. This was credited as one of the worst auditing failures.
The focus of the corporation soon changed direction once it was realized that investing in selling intangible assets on the market could provide easier and higher revenue returns. This type of trading on the open stock market, with little regulations is what allowed the infamous criminal acts to take place and led to one of the world’s worst bankruptcy cases in United States history. An investigation finally occurred when investors found suspicious stock prices increasing exponentially and a whistleblower raised concern that finally revealed the fraudulent operations of Enron’s top executives conspiring with multiple businesses.
The fall of the colossal entity called Enron has forever changed the level of trust that the American public holds for large corporations. The wake of devastation caused by this and other recent corporate financial scandals has brought about a web of new reforms and regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was signed into law on July 30th, 2002. We are forced to ask ourselves if it will happen again. This essay will examine the collapse of Enron and detail the main causes behind this embarrassing stain of American history.
Enron was a publicly traded energy company formed in 1985 by Kenneth Lay when Internorth acquired Houston Natural Gas; the company, based in Houston Texas, Enron (originally entitled “EnterOn”, but was later subjected to abbreviation), worked specifically in power, natural gas, and paper and even ventured into various non-energy-based fields as they expanded, including: Internet bandwidth, risk management, and weather derivatives. Several years after the founding of the company, Enron hired a man by the name of Jeffrey Skilling, a former chemical and energy consultant, who, upon promotion, created a team of high-level administrative employees who, by using special purpose entities, lackluster reporting of finances, and unethical accounting practices, hid billions of dollars of debt from unsuccessful arrangements and ventures from stock holders and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Enron executives achieved this scheme by using a controversial accounting method entitled “mark-to-market accounting,” which in essence, assigns value to financial commodities based on their projected market values; mark-to-market accounting is the opposite of cost-based accounting which records the price of a commodity at the purchase price. As a result of this new method, Enron’s worth skyrocketed to over $70 billion at one time, only to collapse miserably several years later—ultimately costing thousands upon thousands of people their jobs, pensions, and retirements. Enron’s employees
The Enron corporation was an amalgamation of Houston Natural Gas and Internorth two of the largest natural gas suppliers in the United States. It was built upon the company 's ability to convince congress to deregulate the sale of natural gas through supplying electrical pieces at market prices. This allowed Enron to begin to sell power at higher prices therefore driving their revenue up. The company also began to spread its grasp out of natural gas and into a myriad of other power sources across the globe including water, pulp and paper plants. This was all done through a massive series of loopholes and massive amounts of money being funneled into Congress to lobby against regulations of such activities.
Alessia Scolaro Accounting II Before its collapse, Enron was the largest trader of electricity, energy and natural gas in the world. Founded in 1985 by businessman Kenneth Lay, Enron quickly became one of the largest corporations in America. It was a company who claimed to valued itself on integrity and truthfulness and whose main goal was to try to change the way the world bought and sold energy. Unfortunately, greed and arrogance along with accounting fraud lead to its ultimate demise.
6. The board of directors did not insist that full disclosure of Enron’s earning be made available to the public and the shareholders. They allowed inaccurate reports to be published. Since they did not challenge management involvement in fraudulent activities, this meant the shareholders interests were not protected (Brooks, 2007).
Enron Corporation can be considered as one of the largest fraud scandals in history of U.S. The fraud has been conducted by Enron’s top managements
Introduction Enron lead the American energy, commodities, Enron Services was based in Houston, TX. During the turn of the 21st century Enron had an employee base of 20,000 people on payroll. Enron made profits by selling electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper. Enron’s revenues totaled over $101 billion in 2000. Due to Enron’s earning Fortune named Enron as the America Most Innovative Company. Enron was one of the biggest publicly traded companies and highly trusted by all investors. Enron earnings flourished during the start-up of the computer dotcom era in the 1990s. In November 1999, Enron build and launched EnronOnline site. This was the first ever web-based transaction system allowing buyers and sellers to buy, sell, and trade commodity products around the world. Enron peaked; $6 billion worth of commodities transacted through their EnronOnline website daily. EnronOnline allowed for Enron stocks to transact with participants in world energy markets. On their financial books Enron looked as they were doing extremely well and many investors sought out to buy Enron’s stocks. Enron net worth was about $70 billion, their shares traded for about $90 dollars each. Enron was known on Wall Street as a blue chip stock and was considered to be very stable and trustworthy. Enron was named the fifth largest company by Fortune 500. Enron lead the market in energy production, distribution, and trading.
Story of Enron In late 1970 's to early 1980 's, the competition in U.S. gas market lead the market price of gas become unstable. There are three major types of economic units in the gas market, they are suppliers, customers, pipeline companies. Suppliers and customers enter into a long term contracts with pipeline company because of the uncertainty in the price of gas. Therefore, U.S. government trying to control the price of gas by strictly regulation and caused shortage in gas market. The situation became worse in middle of 1980 's. U.S. government started to deregulate the gas industry and the demand for gas declined. Pipeline companies face many financial problems with no customers. The deregulation create a short term volatility in gas price and making gas users more challenging to do planning and pricing. At that time, Enron provided long term fixed contracts to their customer and help the customers to
Ethics in the business world can often times become a second priority behind the gaining of profits and success as a company. This is the controversial issue that led to the Enron scandal and ultimately the fall of this company. Enron Corporation was an energy company, and in the peaks of their success, they were the top supplier of natural gas and electricity throughout America. Enron Corporation came about from a merger between Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Houston Natural Gas was a gas providing company formed in Houston during the 1920’s. InterNorth was a company formed in Nebraska during the 1930’s and owned one of America’s largest pipeline networks. In 1985, Sam Segnar, the CEO of InterNorth bought out Houston Natural Gas for $2.4 billion. A year later in 1986, Segnar retired and was replaced by Kenneth Lay, who renamed the company and created Enron. Enron was the owner of the second largest pipeline in America that measured over 36,000 miles. The company was also the creator of the “Gas Bank”, which was a new way to trade and market natural gas and served as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. As the company continued to develop, it became more of a trader rather than a producer of gas. This trading extended into coal, steel, water and many other areas. One of Enron’s largest successes was their creation of a website called, “Enron Online” in 1999, which quickly became one of the top trading cites in the world. By the year 2000 Enron as a company was
Most of the world has heard of Enron, the American, mega-energy company that “cooked their books” ( ) and cost their investors billions of dollars in lost earnings and retirement funds. While much of the controversy surrounding the Enron scandal focused on the losses of investors, unethical practices of