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, August 20, 2002

 
--- Enron's Kopper Cops a Plea ---

In a major step forward for the Enron investigation, Michael Kopper will plead to two criminal counts (wire fraud, money laundering), disgorge $12M in ill-gotten gains, and begin a long second career as a cooperating witness for the prosecution. See the Chron for details and developments.

Kopper is ideally placed as DOJ's first flip ... high enough in the pyramid to know where the bodies are buried (Kopper worked directly for CFO Fastow), but not so high as to have been one of the masterminds.

The same qualities made Kopper the ideal point man for some of ENE's off-balance-sheet shenanigans, starting with ChewCo (named for Star Wars character Chewbacca). He was far enough inside the insiders could count on him, not high enough in the pyramid to merit Board of Directors attention, and -- absent legal recognition of domestic partners or civil unions -- his longtime significant other was able to pose as the "unrelated" party holding a required 3% equity stake in ChewCo. [This may also lend added credence to reports Chewbacca was gay.]

Expect a steady stream of further developments, rumors of developments, and development of rumors. Also expect an end to the whining about "xxx days and no Enron indictments" from voices ranging from Lou Dobbs to Tom Daschle ... but expect them all to claim "victory".

However -- there's talk going around that DOJ game plan is to target Enron exec's but not Enron Board members ... and this (if true) would be a mighty controversial decision. When the last chickens come home to roost (or to Lay), many will fly in through the boardroom windows, possibly pursued by flocks of rapacious civil litigators.

It'll also be interesting to see how aggressively Enron's enabling accountants, bankers and lawyers are targeted. Verrrry interesting.



Thursday, August 08, 2002

 
--- Thornburgh. Thornburgh? You're kidding, right? Thornburg??!!! ---

"Thornburgh was picked by the Justice Department to serve as the independent examiner to look into WorldCom Inc.'s collapse"

The main pod in Clinton MS is already swarming with Pickerings, Barbours and Lotts, and they gotta pick Reagan-Bush A.G. and made-for-TV politco-legal spinmeister Dick Thornburgh as WorldCom examiner. (Bad taste warning: I guess Coulter was busy on the book tour ... and Barbara Olson was otherwise unavailable.)

The Pickering law firm is conducting WorldCom's internal probe, while Judge Pickering's pending appellate appointment hangs twisting in the wind, and hometown Congressman Chip Pickering is in as incumbent-versus-incumbent reelection grudgematch. Judge Barbour dismissed an earlier suit that might have blown the cover off WorldCom, while former RNC Chair Haley Barbour wheels and deals in telecom circles. Hometown Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott is a million dollar beneficiary of WorldCom/Ebbers largesse. Bush loyalist and former SEC Chairman Richard Breeden is appointed SEC civil suit Monitor. (Off-topic: Where's the Merrimac?)

Beyond the neocon zeitgeist of dereg, financialization, big wheels, big deals and market-magic-mushroom psychedelia, I have no specific reason to think there's any direct political scandal at the base of WorldCom's steaming pile. Nor have I specific reason to think there isn't (but more likely at the fringes than the base).

OTOH, Thornburg is the loyal soldier you or I (or James Baker) would assign to run a cover-up or damage-control detail ... or to spin, distract and deflect collateral garbage into the rival lodge's campfire. My impression: the Baker Bunch jumped on this puppy like they did on the Florida recount, with a pre-staged emergency response team and generic tactical plan. The perimeter has been breached ... but the perimeter of what?

PREDICTION: party hotheads, ballot-boxers and conspiracy sites have a field day with this one, and the waters downstream are muddied.