By BLACKIE D.
Hey, you see Enron? Is that ever a neat company or what? You wanna be rich, I mean hog rich, can’t spend it all? Sure you do-it’s the American way, right?
Well, this outfit tells you how to do it-how they did it. The scams they laid down are right there in the Daily Rag.
Dig this. They paid zero taxes year after year. Zilch, nada, while the rest of us poor stupes were sending in our pittance. They took the money and gave it as a bonus to themselves! Illegal? Theft? Stealing? No way. You see, in the land of United We Stand, it’s legal, right there in the IRS rules, as laid down by the United States Con-gress.
I guess the Con-men in the Senate and the House were thinking, how about we do the same thing? Raise taxes, get a surplus, and allot the surplus to ourselves as a bonus for doing such a great job!
Another one of Enron’s routines (I love this one) was to make the company’s operations so complicated and confusing that no one could understand it. One of the little trickies they used were dozens and dozens off-shore partnerships.
And Enron’s “leaders’ figured another swell gimmick. I guess you’ve heard somewhere or other that stock holders are really the folks who own the company. In this case, the stock was mostly owned by pension funds. They take workers’ money and “invest” it. But what does a pension fund know about investing? Nada, or less.
So the Enron executives (probably so named for executing the company) told everybody while the stock was dropping like a stone, “We are a great company, way underpriced, terrific future.”
I saw Ken Lay pitching his employees to hold on-don’t sell. Meanwhile, guess who was selling? You’ll never guess. It was little ol’ Kenny and his Kennettes-to the tune of one point one billion greenies! How sweet it was!
I heard Kenny’s wife on TV saying that the family was broke-except, of course, for the millions they own in stocks (in companies besides Enron), their multi-million-dollar houses, and all the rest.
Who were big losers? University of California, $145 million; Florida State Pension Fund, $325 million; Georgia State Prison Fund (something tells me that wasn’t for the prisoners), $127 million; Ohio Public Employees and Teachers, $114.5 million.
Also, New York City lost $110 million (they needed that to lift their spirits); California teachers, $45 million; California public employees, $40 million; Los Angeles Pension Fund, $11 million; etc.
There was one itsy, bitsy problem for Enron. Big companies have big accounting firms who come in, look over the books and the hooks, and tell it like it is (financially). What did these cool Enron cats do? Their accountants were Arthur Anderson, and they hired them to advise Enron as well as account.
Boy, did they ever advise! They advised that they take Anderson execs in as Enron execs, so they’d get a chunk of the take, and even try to make off with the rest of the firm-legally!
I admire how they avoided the red tape and made the Enron execs rough and tough, like the “how to” books say. Anyhow, that took care of the auditor problem, if any.
But these rulers didn’t think small. No indeed. Think big! Almost every office holder in Texas and Washington, D.C., went on the pad (that’s payoff). From bottom to the top, to Mr. Shrub (sorry, Mr. Bush) himself. Used to haul him around in their private plane during the period before Mr. B was appointed Mr. P (that’s for Prez) by the Supremes.
The big fund companies were also big buyers of Enron. They all claim that they really investigate before putting their (investors’) money in. Uh huh.
Bob Belkie, portfolio manager for Sigma Investment Counselors, says, “The good thing to come from all this is that as an industry we’re becoming much more independent and critical thinking.” Truth is, they couldn’t recognize critical thinking if it jumped up and bit them on the butt.