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Ken Lay verdict, etc.

So I'm back from vacation, and it looks like the biggest story I missed may well be the guilty verdicts in the Enron case. Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, who ran amok destroying peoples' life savings during the Clinton years, were finally brought to justice under the Bush administration. (Just sayin'.) I can't say I'm surprised, given the political climate concerning corporate fraud these days. Still, for whatever reason, the suddenness and severity of this outcome seems to have caught a fair number of prognosticators off-guard.

I think the verdict is good news for two reasons. First, they deserve it. Second, no one will ever again be able to bemoan the fact that Martha Stewart had to "languish" in the federal pen, while "real" criminals like Ken Lay walk around scot-free. Granted, it was an idiotic comment to make in the first place, but that didn't prevent quite a few people from making it.


I'm still bothered by the fact that most of the "fraud" was disclosed in the SEC filings, if anyone bothered to read them.

And there were plenty of other public companies that used the same tactics, just to a lesser degree.

Setting aside whether they deserve to go to prison, this trial seemed more like a public lynching than justice being served.

I agree with CRB, and I wonder if the sentence will actually do any good.

Though I'm always skeptical of the MSM's instinctive and corrosive disdain for all things busines related, I think the jury got it pretty much right on this one.

Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia were all part of the broader Arthur Anderson scandals that brought about the han-handed and oppressively expensive Oxley-Sarbannes Act. For that alone, all involved should be flushed down the drain.

John LeBoutillier, the author of "Harvard Hates America" wrote about Jeff Skillings, whom LeBoutillier went to Harvard with, in an Op-Ed a couple years ago and how during a course in business ethics, when a scenario was given; "You're the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company and find out that a drug you've just brought to market has some far more serious side effects than initially believed - what do you do?" Skillings reportedly argued "Do nothing. Public safety is NOT the job of the CEO of a major pharmaceutical maker. Let the government order a recall and in the meantime maximize your profits."

Skillings was/IS wrong, in that doing good business IS an integral part of business. If nothing else, it ensures repeat customers and inspires long-term consumer confidence, which is vital to long-term success.

Enron was as predatory a business as New York's Democratic Party is a predatory political Party, which is to say that they too were steeped in corruption and motivated by an actual malice toward their consumers.

Arthur Anderson is now defunct. Adelphia, Worldcom, Global Crossing and other such firms have been brought to trial...Skillings, Fastow and Lay are among the worst of the predators that emerged during the previous administration's actual "culture of corruption."

Big surprise, now that Bush's buddy "Kenny Boy" is a convicted felon you blame Clinton.

How much money did Enron give to Clinton?

What's that I smell? Oh, it's the corpse of "compassionate conservatism" rotting.

The entire Enron scandal happened during the Clinton administration!

His own involvement in the Whitewater scam and the loosened SEC rules were clear signals to the predators that it was open season.

As they say in Brooklyn, "Not for nuthin," but it was the Bush administration that went after the Corporate crooks and it was the Bush administration that tightened the SEC rules on margin rates and IPO regs...and it was the Bush administration that ushered in Oxley-Sarbannes.

Bush has gone about as far with federal intervention into the economy as it is safe to go.

There are few people out there who support even more intervention and NO/ZERO real economists who do so.

(OK, I'll acknowledge that I only consider free market and Supply-Siders to be "real economists."...the last Keynesian standing, Lawrence Krugman, is a political pundit now-a-days.)

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