Film: Enron The Smartest Guys in the Room

After Monday's play about corporate greed in Edwardian times, on Wednesday I saw a film Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room which was a play about corporate greed in Bush times. Actually, it was more than greed. It was how a company managed to get away with criminal activity and even prospered with the support of the financial system, banks, regulatory bodies, the media, you name it. While the people at the top are facing criminal charges, others who invested (not always voluntarily) their pensions into the company find that they have no money.

Based on the book of the same name, it traces the rise and collapse of a company that never really made a profit, but managed to state its earnings on the potential for future profits (Arthur Andersen its accountants no longer exist as an accounting firm due to their work with Enron).

The company was good at one thing and that was publicity. And the video footage from the company is the basis for this great documentary. You feel like you want to punch any one of these assholes when they were on the screen. I couldn't help but cheer when a Californian protestor hit the Enron Chief Executive in the face with a blueberry pie during the rolling blackouts that were a direct result of Enron's activities. Whether the crooks get away with all the money is still a matter to be played out in the courts…  

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