Enron Scandal

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CILM Book Review


IB3A20 Critical Issues in Law and Management

Book Review

Enron, Titanic and The Perfect Storm - Nancy B. Rapoport

Student No: 0834172 Word Count: 1500

CILM Book Review


Two years after Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001, Nancy b. Rapoport wrote this essay expressing her unique perspective on the real cause of Enron’s demise. This essay catches the reader’s attention instantly, because unlike abundant other articles written on the biggest corporate scandal in American history, the author here rejects Jeff Skilling’s (former president of Enron) argument1 of what brought about Enron’s downfall. She instead uses another metaphor, arguing that Enron’s downfall was more like Titanic’s-
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I would go a step further to say that it seems like the author has taken the metaphors a bit too seriously and would agree with Mark’s comment in ‘Lawyers in the Perfect Storm3’ that ‘’her insistence on comparison of the Enron scandal to the tragicomedy of human errors in the sinking of the Titanic underestimates the importance of the systemic failures that allowed the malign leadership of Enron to produce such an enormous disaster.’’ Nevertheless, she develops her further argument well as she explores the inextricable link between Character and Leadership. She elaborates on the inevitable failure of character in Enron leaders to resist illegal deals when the supervisors of those leaders were also engaging in side deals (pg 209). Her close attention to the underlying conflict of human traits and situations, aggravated by the magnitude of profits offered by the Enron culture justifies her statement, ‘why it must have taken significant strength of character to resist getting on that gravy train’ (pg 210).

Sergeant, M, .2003. Lawyers in the Perfect Storm, Washburn Law Journal,. pg 3


CILM Book Review


Moreover, the author does not merely conclude her argument, rather deals well with counter evidence as she considers the few people that did resist and play the role of whistle blowers. Her point that ‘most whistle blowers at Enron were suppressed with downright abuse

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