Enron was a corporation that reached heights unknown, only to watch it fall apart from the inside out based on a foundation of falsehoods and cheating. Enron established a business culture that flourished on competition and was perceived in society as an arrogant corporation, mainly because of its corporate leadership. The fairytale of Enron actually ended as a nightmare with it destroyed by one of America’s largest bankruptcies in history. The demise of Enron impacted the livelihood and futures of numerous employees, their pensions, and in due course impacted Wall Street in a significant way. Even people today are amazed at how such a powerful company met its demise so rapidly. Enron’s end was a product of greed when certain executives of Enron were not eager to accept the failure of their company. The company utilized mark-to-market accounting that detailed the projected impending profits from a long-term deal (Lawry, 2015, p. 28) The results of the deals did not generate revenue as anticipated, but tremendous loss instead. This resulted in Enron accumulating enormous amounts of debt that they attempted to keep classified from the public. Ultimately the truth came to fruition.
Enron was one of the largest electricity and natural gas companies in the world located in Houston, Texas. On December 2nd 2001, Enron filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy when it was found by the SEC that they were misstating their income and their equity value fell below what their balance sheet had stated. The stock of the company was once selling around $90 per share and had a net worth of $70 billion dollars. At one point, the company stood as the 6th largest energy company in their world known for their innovativeness and is now known as one of the largest accounting scandals in history.
Enron was an admired company prior to 2000 because at that time it surfaced as a frontrunner in the deregulated energy market, making it possible to sell energy at higher prices, thus significantly increasing its revenue. The company, through efficient management team, has built leading businesses in energy trading and international energy asset construction. The company has managed to maintain high return from its investments through ideal placement of resources by creating long term and fixed price contracts with clients that guaranteed stable
Along with selling oil and gas, Enron was an inventive market maker for the sale of gas related products. With market making activities and trading, Enron’s growth went from a simple regional supplier of energy to a global financial
Enron executives and accountants cooked the books and lied about the financial state of the company. They manipulated the earnings and booked revenue that never came in. This was encouraged by Ken Lay as long as the company was making money. Once word got out that they were disclosing this information, their stock plummeted from $90 to $0.26 causing the corporation to file for bankruptcy.
Even though records show executives of the company made hundreds of millions of dollars and was going in the right track the successful corporation collapsed, and cost investors as much as seventy billion dollars its shares trading for about $90 each. Furthermore, Lay was convincing his employees to hold on to their stocks and purchase even more. Meanwhile, executives were selling their stocks. Enron executives learned that they faced a major problem for hiding and allowing inflating, the offshore and loose of the company to happen.
Enron’s demise was led by the arrogance and greed of senior executives. The belief was they had to be the best business leaders in the United States. Many also believe that there was a conflict of interest with the auditing firm because not only did they serve as the auditing firm, they also served as a consulting firm to Enron. This enabled them to fabricate financial statements by building assets and hiding debt from investors. The loss of the recorded $1.2 billion shareholders equity meant that many victims of this fraud lost their jobs and their retirement funds.
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.
Enron Corporation was one of the largest energy trading, natural gas and Utilities Company in the world that was based in Huston, Texas. The downfall of Enron is one of the most infamous and shocking events in the financial world, and its reverberations were felt around the globe. Prior to its collapse in 2001, Enron was one of the leading companies in the U.S and considered among top 10 admired corporations and most desired places to work at. Its revenues made up US $139 to $184 billion, assets equaled $62 to $82 billion, and the number of employees reached more than 30,000 people in 20 countries around the world.
“Through its subsidiaries and numerous affiliates, the company provided products and services related to natural gas, electricity, and communications for its wholesale and retail customers” (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2015, p. 486). A company’s corporate culture has a lot to do how efficient the company is, and how the company avoids negative situations such as bankruptcy. Enron was involved in numerous financial scandals, and the corporate culture of Enron played a large part in these scandals. The corporate culture at Enron had an arrogant aura that plagued the company. “This overwhelming aura of pride was based on a deep-seated belief that Enron’s employees could handle increased risk without danger” (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2015, p. 487). Getting involved with major risks combined with thinking there would not be any consequences contributed to Enron’s bankruptcy.
Besides hiding results, they also created affiliated companies (SPEs - special purpose entities) to transfer liabilities and expenses camouflage. On balance, not consolidated Enron statements together with the related companies SPE`s. They used improperly accounting technique mark-to-market. The main reasons for the financial and accounting transactions Enron seemed to increase revenue and cash flow reported at a high level, the amount of inflated assets and liabilities off the company's accounts. The combination of all these factors eventually lead to giant bankrupt.
Enron started as a sound company that had a promising future in the oil and energy business. The companies CEO and CFO were charged on 35 different accounts of fraud, conspiracy, and insider trading that cleared most of its employee’s retirement pensions and billions of dollars for others (Unknown, 2016). It is impossible to account for every transaction that a company will produce, but the revamping of government
Enron Corporation began as a small natural gas distributor and, over the course of 15 years, grew to become the seventh largest company in the United States. Soon after the federal deregulation of natural gas pipelines in 1985, Enron was born by the merging of Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth, a Nebraska pipeline company. Initially, Enron was merely involved in the distribution of gas, but it later became a market maker in facilitating the buying and selling of futures of natural gas, electricity, broadband, and other products. However, Enron’s continuous growth eventually came to an end as a complicated financial statement, fraud, and multiple scandals sent Enron through a downward spiral to bankruptcy.
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.