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.
Saturday, June 15, 2002

 
--- The Andersen Jury is IN ... ---

... the verdict is GUILTY ... and not a thing is RESOLVED in Andersen's trial on federal obstruction of justice charges.

As we've said from day one, this is a peripheral matter in the web of wrongdoing and institutional failure surrounding Enron, Andersen, and another 1,000 Points of Dark.

CNN's Lou Dobbs is immediately on air by phone, asserting Andersen was doomed from the day of the indictment. Wrong again, Lou, Andersen never had an alter boy's prayer at a NAMBLA retreat. (Dobbs recently went on-air with the erroneous claim that clients began abandoning Andersen only after the indictment.) FOX's Neil Cavuto phones in later with a more realistic perspective.

Unfortunately, today's verdict decides nothing. Defense attorney Rusty Hardin's "uproar" strategy didn't work on the jury (surprising, since it worked like a charm on a released alternate juror), but it leaves plenty on the record for appeal. The larger story has moved on ... it no longer centers on the isolated fates of Enron, it's auditors, executives, employees, creditors and customers ... now entire markets, systems of governance, and Martha Stewart are in the dock defending their credibility, honor and taste.

In a "stranger than fiction" twist of fate, it seemed the jury verdict was to turn on a deviously subtle, enormously controversial -- and immensely fundamental -- point of law. The jury deadlocked after eight days, apparently in unanimous agreement that obstruction had been committed, but not in agreement as to which Andersen employee had been the "corrupt persuader" emphasized in Hardin's "Where's Waldo?" defense.

They put Judge Melinda Harmon in a torturous bind when they passed a note asking whether they all had to finger the same "persuader". It seemed the decision on this unsettled point of law would decide the case, and a wrong decision -- even an unsound argument -- would cinch reversal on appeal. Appeal seemed destined for the Supreme Court, as the question itself is pivotal to the basis of law underlying criminal prosecutions of corporate entities.
Some theorists claim corporations should be exempt from criminal law, arguing that culpability always rests on an identifiable criminal act by an identifiable "natural person" -- a human being. Opposing theorists argue the "corporation as legal person" angle, and pragmatists readily see through to the "fall guy" loopholes in the purist model.
In a double twist, the jury returned to deliberations and apparently came to agreement by identifying the same "persuader"! Where do we go from here? Sentencing calendared for October, appeals to run that off the road, and -- by my reckoning -- sweeping, substantive criminal fraud indictments against Andersen and other enablers ... possibly piercing the veil of Limited Liability Partnership and attempting to separate (former) Andersen partners from their rather considerable personal assets.

It's Saturday morning, top-echelon news crews have the day off, and are filling the air with Gotti biographies, priest/pedophile rehash, and Joey Buttafuco flashbacks. Scandal skeptics are right on one point ... Enron and everything after is mind-numbingly esoteric.