Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room Essay

1889 Words 8 Pages
The thing I liked most about this documentary was the fact that it focused on the guys at the top, the self-proclaimed "smartest men in the room", the so-called geniuses who knew the energy business so much better than the rest of the industry. And what a piece of work these men were.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room shows us how basic human nature does not change, whether it's in the easy fall into killing as a means to resolve disputes, or in the incessant human obsession to acquire for acquisition's sake. This all makes for terrible human actions.
One particular sequence of the film shows a series of Enron commercials that feature the Enron motto ask why. This rings almost like a corporate version of a Jack the Ripper taunt to
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He was the one who hired Skilling after a similar scandal in the 1980s nearly derailed the company, never concerned with ethics, only profits. Lay even sickeningly and psychotically compares his and Enron's criminal behavior, and the criticism of it, with the 9/11 attacks. All three started dumping their stock based on their most inside information months before the company tanked, and this forms the bases of the cases against Skilling and Lay, which are underway. Fastow opted to fink out on his bosses, after they set him up as the fall guy. If this film does not prove, once and for all, that the glorious myth of the free market is a fraud, nothing will.
On the superficial level, the attitudes and motives behind the events and decisions causing eventual downfall seem simple enough: collective and individual greed created in the atmosphere of corporate arrogance. As Enron's reputation in the global environment grew, the internal culture of the organization began to worsen significantly. Skilling, Enron Chief Executive, founded the Performance Review Committee, PRC, which gained the reputation of the harshest employee-ranking system in the whole country. Theoretically, this review system was based on the values of Enron - respect, integrity, communication and excellence (RICE). But at the end of the…

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