LOL! Loved the most recent Kunstler rant: www.kunstler.com
March 14, 2005
Anyone who read yesterday's New York Times Sunday Business Section couldn't fail to conclude that America's leading industry is. . . accounting fraud! All three of the section's front page stories were devoted to that line of enterprise in one way or another.
The lead story, "The Last Days of Enron," by Kurt Eichenwald undertook to tell, in a by-now-familiar "behind-the-scenes"soap opera format, a tale of desperate, enraged, and weeping corporate "suits" confronting each other in 50th floor offices -- in this case, a well-known cast featuring Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Ben Gilsen, et al.
The most telling element of the story, though, is the utter incomprehensibility of Enron's actual business dealings and the fact that Eichenwald doesn't even attempt to explicate what it consisted of. And for good reason, I think, because it consisted of nothing. Enron's business amounted to borrowing huge sums of money from banks and then creating an elaborate armature of paperwork to suggest that the money had been directed to some purpose. In fact, though Eichenwald never says so, the money was dumped into other Enron-owned pseudo-companies -- many established in Carbbean pseudo-nations with opaque banking regulations -- fictiously created to do nothing but receive borrowed money. What kept Enron's stock up, until the very end, was simply the huge scale of its borrowings. Everybody was impressed by it: the stock-holders, the bankers, the regulators, and the news media. Until Enron ran through so much borrowed cash that they couldn't borrow more to make scheduled payments on prior borrowings. Sound like a certain western hemisphere nation we all know? (Hint: English mostly spoken in it.)...
Pretty darn funny.
I also enjoy noting that one thing the Bankruptcy "reform" is not changing is a little "out" used by the wealthy to avoid paying their debts. It's only the peon classes that need discipline, it appears.