Magazine article The American Prospect

Going Down as It Came Up. (Devil in the Details)

Magazine article The American Prospect

Going Down as It Came Up. (Devil in the Details)

Article excerpt

WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE tension in Enron's executive offices in the week before it filed for bankruptcy. Each day brings new revelations about the company's dubious business practices and dire financial status. Dynergy seems about to pull the plug on its proposed acquisition. The company's net worth, as measured by its toppling stock valuation, is approaching that of the barbershop two blocks over.

Clearly, it's time for decisive action. Should salary cuts go into effect to keep layoffs to a minimum? Should the private jets be unloaded? Should a special fund be set up for employees who took a bath on their 401(k) company stock?

Of course not. What this company needs to do is cover its butt politically. Let's write a fat check to the Senate Democrats.

And that's exactly what Enron did. On November 25 and 26, just one week before filing its bankruptcy papers, Enron sent back-to-back $50,000 checks to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). The logic of the donation is unassailable: Enron and its execs have already covered themselves with the administration; they've been the largest single source of hard and soft money to George W. …

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