the CAMP ENRON Report

... 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

(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.


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

... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

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 02, 2002

--- Harvey Pitt Digs Himself a Hole ---

Harvey Pitt has gone and dug himself a deeper hole. Stirring Python-like into action (nobody ever expects the Securities Commission!), he's on-air everywhere at once ... blaming the current sad state of affairs on his predecessors. Refusing to name Arthur Leavitt by name -- but leaving no margin for misinterpretation -- Pitt scourges his predecessor. The SEC was in terrible shape. The 90's were a decade of moral depravity. Clinton let things go to hell. Corruption was rampant. Democrats blocked accounting reforms.

What's wrong with this counterattack? As a minor point, much of it's not true. Clinton vetoed legislation that discouraged shareholder litigation (and suffered the indignity of a veto override). Leavitt, crusading for audit reforms, nearly had his head taken off by industry attack dogs like ... Harvey Pitt! GWB's most decisive campaign promise (in the fundraising arena, where the nomination was won) was his pledge to get SEC bureaucrats off the backs of corporate America, by giving the reins to somebody like ... Harvey Pitt! Fictive accounting accelerated through the closing years of the decade, but it appears [subject to detailed retrospective analysis] this trend shifted into high gear in December 2000, directly (even if coincidentally) on the heels of W's Florida overtime success.

As a major point, going partisan and sniping at scapegoats will piss some people off ... people whose support Pitt may need if he's to live long and prosper as SEC Chair. All the Democrats in Congress for one thing ... even those who really did cave in to AICPA pressure when Leavitt most needed their support. (Say, aren't they having Harvey for lunch up on the Hill next week?) Most of the SEC career staff for another. A fair share of Republican money managers who want answers, not whiny excuses. Otherwise unaligned admirers of Leavitt. Maybe even old friends who still want Pitt to keep the old implicit campaign promises.

In my opinion, Pitt is now earnestly efforting a personal and institutional transformation ... within the confines of his limited perspective. But much as he tries, he's late to the party, he's not right for the part, he's on the wrong track, he can't be taken seriously now even when he's right. Put him back on the other side of the table, and let him eat crow with the rest of the old boys.