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, July 09, 2002

 
--- Bush Hedges His Bets in Volatile Outrage Futures Market ---

In the main, GWB's corporate crimebuster proposals are nothing to write home about. Still, we owe the homefolk a letter from camp so ...

Bush43 plunged into the Bad Apple market on Wall Street this morning. CNN's Pre-game capsule summary:
Aaron Brown: "What does the business community want to hear this morning?
Lou Dobbs: "As little as possible."
There's a routine checklist of responses to misbehaviors that become overly present in the public eye.
Tougher sentencing? Check.

Increase enforcement budgets? Check. (Bush proposals underwhelm the competition.)

Take back ill-gotten gains? Check. (The Devil's in the legal details.)

Task force? Check. (Might do some good. Who's involved? What does it do, and how does it resolve interagency divergences in information privacy/disclosure standards? Or is it just another nameplate on another door at DOJ?)

Lifetime bans? Check.

"Challenge" leaders to set higher standards? Check.

Denounce moral relativism? Uh, check.
Other remedies were fait accompli, mostly as prospective stock exchange mandates, before Bush swung into action.
Restrictions on corporate loans to executives. (May take some working out, since these are often the means to the means to the ends of "interest alignment" via other compensation elements.)

Director independence.

Shareholder approval of option plans.
Harvey Pitt lives, and his statutory recusal period expires in a month.

Bush ventured an unfortunate weasel-worded slap at the Democratic-led Senate: "the House has passed these measures" [referring to the weaker Oxley bill] "I urge the Senate to do the same" [where the more serious Sarbanes bill is being hammered out.

In the House, which passed Oxley's "reform lite" early in the game, some are having second thoughts. The Senate Sarbanes work-in-process is the brand leader at this point. Sarbanes v. Oxley in conference committee looks like the hot ticket in town. (I make it a lightheavyweight mismatch ... see you at the fights.)

No "tough new laws" that I can see ... just tweaking the payoff matrix and pounding the bully pulpit. It's a start.

Is non-criminality the sine qua non of corporate ethics? If not, what is? White House focus is still on outright criminality ... not on the increasingly bizarre value propositions we see blowing around the corporate stratosphere. Crime is the tip of the iceberg ... and the iceberg is the canary in the coal mine (the penguin in the ice mine?) of global financial climate change.

Flash reaction? Too little, too late, but it's still early.

How does all this affect the forward curve for outrage futures? Do we detect an inflection point, or just normal backwardation? In any event, "Enron rage" is now a listed commodity, and differences of opinion are what make speculative markets.