Kenneth Lay, former Chairman and CEO, and Jeff Skilling who was also a CEO and COO of Enron, had the major part in Enron when it collapsed and went bankrupt. Because of deregulations Ken Lay enter Enron in 1985 through a merger a vast network of natural gas and pipeline. Later, Enron grew into an energy trading company which was worth $68 billion in 2000. Lays family was poor, which made him ambitious to earn wealth regardless of the path he takes, hence, unethical professionalism at Enron. Enron took advantage of his decision to let gas prices float on the market. Rich Kinde found out about Enron’s oil scandal in 1987 by the misappropriation of
On December of 2001, the nation’s seventh largest corporation valued at almost $70 billion dollars filed for bankruptcy. Illegal and fraudulent accounting procedures would led to the demise of the company. Over 20,000 people lost their jobs, and about $2 billion in pensions and retirement funds disappeared. Despite all this, Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling and Anthony Fastow profited greatly from Enron. These events resulted in the implementation of new legislation on the accuracy of financial reporting for public companies. The fall of Enron became known as the largest corporate bankruptcy in the United States at the time.
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.
Whenever someone hears the word "Enron" today, they usually think of the transgressions committed by the top-level executives who successfully managed to destroy the company's reputation and achievements.
In 1990, a man named Jeffery Skilling joined Enron Corporation and in 1997, he was appointed as the company 's Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Skilling demanded to change Enron 's accounting system from a straight forward kind of accounting were Enron had listed actual revenue and costs of supplying and selling gas to the mark-to-market accounting system.
Enron was founded by Ken Lay in 1985 as a result of a merger of two gas companies. Enron was in top fortune 500 at number 7 and could not produce accurate financial statements to their investors. Top executives sold over a billion dollars in personal stock two years prior to their demise. Thousands of employees lost their jobs and. Author Anderson shredded all the financial statements all in one day. Employees of Enron lost over a billion and retirement and pension. Many of the top executives got off with just a slap on the wrist. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was set into place to make sure financial organizations are honest with investors.
Enron Corporation was an American energy trading company who committed the largest audit fraud alongside Arthur Andersen and filed for one of the largest bankruptcies in history in 2001 after producing false numbers and committing fraud for years (“Enron’s Questionable Transactions” page 93). Enron failed to run an ethical business in multiple aspects. The executives of the company abused their powers by having board members not properly oversee its employees. Enron committed accounting malpractice by producing false financial reports to hide the debt from failed projects and deals. Using a mark-to-market accounting method, Enron would create assets and claim the projected profit for the books immediately even if the company had not made any profit yet. In order to hide its failures, rather than reporting their loss, they would transfer the loss to an off-the-books account, ultimately leading the loss to go unreported. Along with Enron hiding losses and creating false profit for the
In my opinion the Enron scandal was one of the worst in American history. While we could argue many facets of the scandal the main talking point in my mind stems from the sheer level of corruption they managed to obtain. Which begs the question how far would the corruption have went had it not been for an insider blowing the whistle? It is estimated that Enron hid approximately 51.2 billion dollars worth of debt. They achieved this by utilizing several ingenious but unethical and illegal methods. However, the key to this scandal was the key involvement by the company which was supposed to be the watchdog. This is one of the major reasons SOX was created by the federal
As Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind portray in The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, there was a chain-reaction of events and a hole that dug deeper with time in the life-span of, at one time the world's 7th largest corporation, Enron. The events were formulated by an equation with many factors: arbitrary accounting practices, Wall Street's evolving nature and Enron's lack of successful business plans combined with, what Jeff Skilling, CEO of Enron, believed was the most natural of human characteristics, greed. This formula resulted in fraud, deceit, and ultimately the rise and fall of Enron.
When Jeffrey Skilling was hired, the company started using mark-to-market accounting which allowed the company to record potential profits and giving the appearance that the company is extremely profitable even when it isn’t. Enron continuously created deals and new projects to increase potential profits for the company and never actually making any money in the process. Skilling’s best idea was to turn Enron into a stock market for natural gas. Enron began to move towards trade of energy rather
Even the small profits reported by Enron in 2000 were eventually determined to be only a illusion by court-appointed bankruptcy examiner Neal Batson. Batson’s report reveals that over 95% of the reported profits in these two years were attributed to Enron’s misuse of MTM and other accounting techniques. But while financial analysts could not be expected to know that the company illegally manipulated the earnings, the reported profit margins in 2000 were so low and were declining so steadily that they should have merited ample skepticism from analysts about the company’s profits.
All of the prior represents the business side of the downfall of Enron. That being said, businesses fail all of the time. The reason why Enron Corporation and its executives will always live in infamy is not because the company failed, but how and why the company failed. How, exactly, does a company worth about $70 million collapse in less than a month? It became clear that the company not only had financial problems, but ethical problems that started from the top of the company and trickled down. A key player in these problems was Jeffrey Skilling. He was a man brought to the company by Ken Lay himself. Skilling brought his own accounting concept to the company. It was called mark-to-market accounting. This concept allowed Enron to record potential profits the day a deal was signed. This meant that the company could report whatever they “thought” profits from the deal were going to be and count the number towards actual profits, even if no money actually came in. Mark-to-market accounting granted Enron the power to report major profits to the public, even if they were little or even negative. It became a major way
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
The story of Enron begins in 1985, with the merger of two pipeline companies, orchestrated by a man named Kenneth L. Lay (1). In its 15 years of existence, Enron expanded its operations to provide products and services in the areas of electricity, natural gas as well as communications (9). Through its diversification, Enron would become known as a corporate America darling (9) and Fortune Magazine’s most innovative company for 5 years in a row (10). They reported extraordinary profits in a short amount of time. For example, in 1998 Enron shares were valued at a little over $20, while in mid-2000, those same shares were valued at just over $90 (10), the all-time high during the company’s existence (9).
Enron's entire scandal was based on a foundation of lies characterized by the most brazen and most unethical accounting and business practices that will forever have a place in the hall of scandals that have shamed American history. To the outside, Enron looked like a well run, innovative company. This was largely a result of self-created businesses or ventures that were made "off the balance sheet." These side businesses would sell stock, reporting profits, but not reporting losses. "Treating these businesses "off the balance sheet" meant that Enron pretended that these businesses were autonomous, separate firms. But, if the new business made money, Enron would report it as income. If the new business lost money or borrowed money, the losses and debt were not reported by Enron" (mgmtguru.com). As the Management Guru website explains, these tactics were alls designed to make Enron look like a more profitable company and to give it a higher stock price.