The Collapse Of The Corporate Rock Star

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The story of Enron is one of a perfect storm--the right people in the right places with the right ideas, but the exact opposite. Moreover, it is a story about accounting fraud, deception, the ugly side of corporate culture and, most of all, greed. In entry level accounting classes, it is taught that publishing accurate financial statements and being honest in accounting practices are fundamental to maintaining a healthy business and achieving lasting success. Enron is a shining example of what happens when you choose to violate these principles. In order to fully understand what caused the collapse of the corporate "rock star" that was Enron we will discuss the people involved, the crimes they perpetrated, and the results of said…show more content…
If Lay was Batman, Skilling was his Robin--assuming Batman and Robin were criminals and not crime fighters. Both equally responsible, both equally morally corrupt, and both equally reprehensible. Skilling would serve as the president and COO for the majority of the time period relevant to this scandal, and ultimately directed a large part of the deception that occurred in that time. As before mentioned, Skilling, like Lay, was a man of big ideas. Some would say unrealistic ideas. His motto was very much, "build castles in the air, then put the foundations under them." He was infamous for setting financial goals that were by all means unattainable under normal operations. In particular, Skilling would ask financial consultants what amount of revenue would increase the stock price of Enron to market analysts ' projected value, then set that as the company goal, regardless of whether achieving it was even possible. In addition to Skilling 's extremely forward thinking, he was a large proponent of a "survival of the fittest" attitude. He believed that the greatest possible efficiency in the work place resulted from direct competition with one 's coworkers. This attitude spurred the implementation of the Performance Review Committee, a committee which would rank all Enron employees based on performance, and fire those ranking in the bottom. Furthermore, those employees that ranked high in the standings would be
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