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.
Thursday, March 28, 2002

 
--- Dobbs Shouts "Jump, Humpty, Jump!" ---

CNN's Lou Dobbs blew up on air again yesterday ... interrupting, misinterpreting, lecturing, browbeating and dismissing a James O'Toole of the USC Marshall School of Business Center for Effective Organizations (CEO), an expert in leadership and corporate culture who declined to endorse Lou's views re Andersen's institutional culpability.

Dobbs and O'Toole agreed on nothing, including whether Andersen had accepted the Volcker Plan. "As a man who's been researching this quite extensively over the past few weeks" Dobbs assured O'Toole "... you've been given extraordinaly bad information". At the end of the segment, O'Toole pointedly declined to acknowledge Lou's sign-off.

Who was right? O'Toole was working from public information. Andersen had not -- and at this writing still has not -- announced acceptance of Volcker's proposals. Independent reportage this morning confirms the Volcker Plan is gaining support in partnership ranks, but is by no means a done deal. (The question may or may not be settled in teleconference today.)

Dobbs, on the other hand, was operating on inside information and/or wishing thinking. CNNfn datelined a story -- "Andersen to take on Volcker reforms" -- just minutes after Moneyline went off air, citing outgoing CEO Berardino and other unnamed sources.

Granted, Lou has the inside track. He scooped everybody Tuesday with Berardino's live broadcast resignation. Of course he's worked hard for these scoops ... abandoning any pretense of journalistic neutrality, abandoning even the niceties of respectful debate, pitching in shamelessly as on-air champion of Andersen's brief.

Dobbs should recuse himself from further comment. His reflexive contempt for most organs of government is well known, but is there something more to his unhedged, unhinged advocacy in this case? An undisclosed emotional or pecuniary interest? A close relative, all of whose nest-eggs are in the Andersen basket?

Dobbs's high-profile cheerleading may even contribute to Andersen's demise, egging them on in a defiant "you can't touch us, we're Andersen!" act. At every turn, at every level, Andersen failed to take the situation seriously enough ... always refusing to take the big fall, and setting themselves up for bigger ones.

Documents filed in the Waste Management civil suits suggest Andersen could have faced criminal sanctions in that matter. Pleading out for a fine and a severe warning, they've already had their quota of slaps on the wrist ... and learned nothing. Their driving is still terrible; their attitude's gotten worse. Yank thier license and book 'em!

O'Toole did squeeze in a couple of insightful obsevations. One is the contrast between Andersen's grand show of unity and its objection to firm-wide indictments as guilt by association.

The other is a parallel between the Andersen accounting scandals and the Catholic hierarchy sex abuse scandals. (I've been meaning to note this.) Both institutions are tasked as instruments of propriety in their respective domains; both are steeped in protocols of examination and disclosure; both, in moments of crisis, were unable to confess the pattern of recurring miscreant behavior in their own ranks ... perhaps because of their roles as exemplars of the Good.