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In every transaction Fastow had to choose: Enron or LJM. Why did Enron's board allow such a conflict of interest?I must conclude that their judgment was severely clouded by the fees they received as directors.[Arthur Andersen was Enron's external auditor.] In the end, both companies put revenues and earnings above all else -- the means by which those earnings were generated did not matter. Ken Lay was well known for his charitable giving and his verbal commitment to Enron's four core values -- respect, integrity, communication, and excellence -- but he was not quite walking the walk. Trouble was that it was neither low cost nor good service.Domestically, you could manage, but when it came to international travel -- that agency was very nearly incompetent.Why can't I just take a million here and there for myself as a 'structuring fee,' just like Lay has been taking a little Enron money and transferring it to his sister for all these years?" The CEO of a company must have pristine ethics if there is to be any hope of ethical behavior from the employees.An accurate summary, I agree, but it fails to help others learn from Enron's demise. How did a company's culture breed not only corruption from its own employees but also disreputable behavior from the outside auditors, lawyers, consultants, and lenders?Enron was at one time the seventh largest company in the United States, based on Total Revenues.
Enron's ability to evolve and shape the energy markets in the United States earned the company accolades from many sources.Unfortunately, the dark side of innovation is fraud. Can you tell me your thoughts about the importance of a proper "tone at the top"?Enron's leaders set the wrong tone, so did Arthur Andersen's leaders. What I've come to realize is that leadership is tough “ very tough." All eyes are on you and the slightest erosion in values at the CEO level is magnified in the trenches.Had management lost its way or was it a ticking time bomb from the beginning?Many experts summarize "what happened" at Enron using two words, greed and arrogance.