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 02, 2002

 
--- Short Takes for 2002-07-02 ---

Over on Slate.com, corporate conscience Nell Minow (The Corporate Library) and corporate apologist Holman Jenkins, Jr. (WSJ) are slugging it out over corporate ethics. Don't miss it!

Per yesterday's WSJ, total assets in pension and personal retirement accounts fell $500B in calendar 2001, even as $140B in cash flowed into the funds. Whaddya say, gang, can we beat that record in 2002? We're off to a good start.


A group of big pension funds is preparing to sue a group of big banks for failures of due diligence in underwriting an $11B WorldCom bond issue. Meanwhile a group of big banks is gearing up to sue a group of big insurance companies in the Enron affair.

Signs of the Times: NYT Sunday Style Section has a full-page rundown on the etiquette of socializing with celebrity indictees. On NYT front, Kurt Eichenwald muses "Can Capitalists Actually Bring Down Capitalism?" (he thinks not). The Seattle Times has a quick Q&A re WorldCom's impact on small fish in local waters. And Financial Times reports from outside a NY courtroom, where Tyco's embattled Dennis Kozlowski muttered something about "Brazil winning the game". The reporter shook her head in confusion, then explained she had asked about WorldCom, not the World Cup.

Google gives 3,530 citations for "martha stewart" and "toast". ("martha" and "bad apples" hasn't cracked 1,000 yet.)

Per hedgeapple.com, Martha Stewart ran an article in the November 2001 issue of Martha Stewart Living titled, "Enjoying Hedge Apples." What's a hedge apple? I dunno, but if I was running a bad-apple hedge fund I'd sure wanna read up.

WaPo's Steven Pearlstein had a good scandal retrospective a few days back.
"... there was nobody in the business community who is not implicated in this in some way," said Jeffrey Garten, dean of Yale University's School of Management. ... "Even those of us at business schools ... were cheerleaders, too." ...

"The incentive to scam was enormous," said Kevin A. Hassett ... author of a new book, "Bubbleology."

Six months ago ... Harvard Business School professor Jay Lorsch was among those who believed that corporate wrongdoing was the work of a "few rotten apples." Now he's not so sure. ...

In 1913, a reform-minded accountant named Arthur Andersen started his firm on the promise of offering investors an alternative to the lax accounting standards then prevailing. ...

In the theory of "efficient markets" ... stock price came to be viewed as better than even financial statements in determining a company's worth and prospects.
Strange Boardfellows Department: Martha Stewart and NY State Controller H. Carl McCall rub elbows in NYSE's boardroom. McCall is ex-officio trustee of what may be the world champion bag-holder in recent financial scandals, and is in the running for Governor of NY.

Strange Boardfellows, cont'd: Clifford Alexander, Jr, Chairman of Moody's, sat on WorldCom's Board until January. (thx Ben at "As the WorldCom Turns") Strange Boardfellows are encouraged to read the aforementioned NYT "scandal etiquette" advisory.

Vivendi joined the scandal club today, by the way, and EDS is bidding for consideration.