Under the Radar?: “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”

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“In the Titanic, the Captain went down with the ship. In Enron it looks to me like the Captain first gave himself and some friends a bonus, then lowered himself and the top folks down in the lifeboat and then hung it up and said, ‘By the way everything’s going to be just fine.'” – US Senator Byron Dorgan

At the time of its bankruptcy filing in November of 2001, Enron was the largest chapter 11 filing in history. Just one year earlier, the company had reported revenues of over $100 billion. Due to its collapse, Enron shareholders lost some $11 billion. Enron employees lost $1.2 billion in retirement funds, and retirees lost $2 billion in pension funds. 20,000 employees lost their jobs. Arthur Anderson, the nation’s oldest accounting firm and one of the largest accounting firms in the world, was destroyed in its wake. Their complicity in the scandal destroyed their reputation and ruined their business. An additional 85,000 employees nationwide lost their jobs due to their collapse.

“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” is a 2005 documentary by Alex Gibney which details the reckless corporate culture, the terrifying lack of ethics, and the outright fraud involved in one of the most famous corporate scandals in history.

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