the CAMP ENRON Report


CAMP ENRON:
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

Some say it's nothing but a train wreck ... roll in the big cranes, clear the track, see what the crew's been smoking. If I thought so, I'd not be writing this ... and if they thought so, they'd not be drumming so hard.


For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

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Camp Enron Archives
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003

NOTE to READERS:
(2) All "major" articles of older material have now been imported, some with updates worth perusing. We'll keep it all on the main page for a while, will add a few loose pieces of history, will trim the main page and index the archives for convenience later.


OUR DEPARTMENTS:

the COGENT PROVOCATEUR:
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ... taking an imposing analytic toolkit out of the box, over the wall and into the street ... with callous disregard for accepted wisdom and standard English

reading the tea leaves from original angles, we've led with uncannily prescient takes on the federal surplus, the dotcom crash, the "Energy Crisis", the Afghan campaign, the federal deficit.

More where those came from ... stay tuned.


For brief orientation, see this
Welcome to CP


CAMP ENRON:
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

OTHER GOOD STUFF:
Many thanks to Tony Adragna and Will Vehrs, still shouting 'cross the Potomac at QuasiPundit. Early Camp Enron material can be found in QP's Dispatches department.
Tuesday, February 05, 2002

 
--- Camp Enron Salutes Camp O.J. ---

Michael M. Thomas, a Yankee Optimist and Texas Oil Patch kindred spirit of GWB ( "I Understand Bush Men" ), shares priceless observations on the The Roots of Enron [current in New York Observer; perm archive link will differ]. MTM recalls long-past encounters with Vinson & Elkins ("more concerned with 'Yea!' than 'Nay!'"), traces the whole financial bloodbath to O.J. Simpson -- by way of W.J. Clinton -- and wraps up with a cite from J.R. "Rudyard" Kipling:
... They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market who promised these beautiful things. ...
Vinson & Elkins have deep pockets, but are they too well-connected to take the fall? ( HoustonChronicle.com )

Bracewell & Patterson, also a Houston legal powerhouse, cites conflict of interest and severs ties with Enron. B&P is home to (non)lobbyist RNC Chairman Marc Racicot and Texas GOP A.G. candidate Greg Abbott, among others

Prosecutor's wetdream, continued. The suspects themselves are zealously preparing white papers laying out each others' misconduct in painstaking detail. With defendants like these, who needs on-budget staff?

Who are the "partners" in hundreds or thousands of Enron-related entities? Don't ask Enron , but Joshua Micah Marshall has more (more acute questions, that is).

Ken Lay cancels scheduled appearances before Congress ... and at World Economic Forum's "Davos on the Hudson", where "Among those who want to know more about Enron are business leaders from developing nations. They have been urged for years to ... emulate Western capitalist practices." ( HoustonChronicle.com )

In the Senate, Fritz Hollings (D-SC) goes over the top, railing about "cash and carry" influence peddling. In response, Gordon Smith (R-OR) spins out, insisting it's a business scandal, and ... it happened on Clinton's watch. A careless gift to Smith's opponent in this fall's competitive re-election bid, in a state stacked with Enron victims.

Democrats want to play Enron up as a political scandal. Republicans want to confine it to a business scandal. Self-inflicted damage continues. Political scandals undermine the "party of government". Business scandals -- if they loom large enough to make any popular impression at all -- undermine the "party of business".

FLASHBACK, 2000-12-14: Fortune magazine floated three names for Treasury Secretary under Bush43: Ken Lay, Philip Purcell of Morgan Stanley, Hank Greenberg of AIG (recently pummeled for Enron-like accounting).

[That's Morgan Stanley, the derivatives and structured financing wizards, not J P Morgan, the structured financing and derivatives wizards. The two Morgans are related by parentage going back to the last great paradigm-shaker in corporate governance -- the 1920's boom, securities manipulation, the 1930's bust, and the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The Act restricted banks to the banking business, and has been eviscerated by recent "anything goes" deregulation. The world breathes in, the world breathes out, in the never-ending cycle of rascality and reform. ]

The Houston Astros, "perceived in the public and cast in the national media as an affiliate (and even an ally) of Enron", are in court trying to get out from under the Enron nameplate ... while Enron stays current with scheduled payments (!) in a possible bid to negotiate sale of "Enron Field" naming rights on their own terms. How about "Global Crossing Field"? "Tyco Stadium"?

Also in the game of registered marks, CNBC's "America Now" (Kudlow and Cramer) unveiled a logo for their own excellent scandal coverage ... including the big cockeyed 'E' fallen over on its back. Now it's gone. Issues?

Dave Barry Does Enron (Q. What does ''leveraging'' mean? A. Lying.)

Speaking of things which I am not making up ... Austin left/populist muckraker Jim Hightower found this ill-timed puff in Texas Society of CPA's Today's CPA, December 2001 issue (composed in October): "Enron's accounting function has been an integral part of its success and vision."


2002-02-08 ADDENDUM: More "Camp O.J." connections:
(1) O.J. "Dream Team" attorney Johnnie Cochran is on the scene, this time for the plaintiffs. (Will we find Alan Dershowitz scouting out sympathetic test cases for his "torture is OK under certain circumstances" thesis ?)

(2) If taken down and sued to smithereens in civil actions, Enron executives may retire to lifestyles of the rich and notorious -- a la Mr. Simpson.

(2a) Key executives enjoy multimillion-dollar external private pension and insurance contracts, untouchable in civil litigation. WSJ -- by subscription -- has a good piece in yesterday's 2/7 edition.

(2b) Texas, like Florida, provides extremely generous "homestead exemptions" in personal bankruptcy. Houston sees a minor boom in high-end residential construction as "Exron's" frantically hammer multimillion-dollar additions onto their multimillion-dollar estates.