Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story
* Don't keep track of how much money is coming in.
* Don't keep track of when your bills are due. Petty details are boooooriiiiing.
* Reward people for getting a deal d ...more
The book is particularly relevant when we put the story of Enron into perspective: Geo. W. Bush's longtime personal friendship with Enron head Ken Lay; Bush's own businesses in the 1980s--Arbusto and Spectrum 7--also collapsing shortly after HE sold out his personal stock; numerous other financial giants coincident with Enron (eg., Arthur Anderson, Tyco, Worldcom, etc.) demonstrating the same fiscal ...more
The most interesting thing for me was that a few Enron employees were aware of what was happening, but either didn't want to speak up, or spoke up and were ignored (sometimes repeatedly).
While I was reading, I wondered whether the shenanigans would have been exposed earlier if data was made available to all ...more
Fastow created accounting entities which were used to hide Enron debt. He initially named himself the owner of these entities and got the board to dismiss any conflicts of interest. He then played loose with accounting rules and received required ...more
An aging ruler must choose his successor - a boring, responsible guy or an exciting, dashing, brilliant risk taker. He chooses the risk taker. But although his successor is exciting and bold, he lacks the inner strength and moral compass to guide the kingdom. Things quickly start to go wrong, so he chooses a clever man to look after the kingdom's money - one he knows w ...more
The enormous spending of corporate funding, the way the exec's are looking the other way, the numerous ways where Enron could have taken another road -away from bankruptcy-, the way the characters play together to create this huge chunk of corporate mischief, I loved it.
The book reads very easily if you have some feeling of accounting or finance, next to that there are a lot of characters involved but they're ...more
Another pleasant surprise. I don't usually read books about business but was intrigued by what I remember of the ENRON story. Saw the 25 CD colossus on the shelf in the library and picked it up, figuring it would be interesting or deadly. Better, it was fascinating.
Read like a mystery thriller but also gave real insight into the mess a business can be and the human frailties of the people who run and participate in businesses. I was thoroughly absorbed in the story ...more
The "Conspiracy of F ...more
The Enron story remains the same, no matter how many times it's retold. In matters of style, at least, Conspiracy of Fools trumps the other books on the subject. Critics' pens dangle like swords of Damocles over the cinematic scenes that are central to the book's appeal: Can dialogue be recounted so accurately after 20 years of echoes? Maybe not. But 40 pages of detailed source notes buy Eichenwald some relief from the red ink. There are nitpicks: Enron executive Andrew Fastow comes across as a...more
The details of ...more
So there is no f-ing reason for me to read or even go near this book. Especially when i remember watching the enron documentary in college and falling asleep in class and hating my life.
so when i found it at my grandfathers house....fysh!...i'm bored alre ...more
I had to read some of the technical stuff more than once to understand it, but even getting just the gist of it was fine. Taking the time to understand the sleights of hand that occurred makes the whole thing even more amazing, however.
Great book on ...more
This is not your typical documentary. This reads more as a narrative and you get to know, love and hate each character. You feel their frustrations, elations, fears, triumphs, and desperation. Multiple face palms throughout this book. I work for one of the largest financial institutions in the world and it amazes me how no one can question and stand against those that were doing wrong.
Spoiler below: although since this i ...more
This is a great introduction to the Enron story. ...more
It's not particularly soft on Ken Lay or Jeff Skilling, but the author must have been swayed by their viewpoints, and this story of Enron is tainted by that view. Lay and Skilling thought that everything was going just swimmingly until it all collapsed. There's some truth in that, but it' ...more
A thorough analysis of the company and its shadowy practices, it will educate and shock most. Eichenwald succeeds in letting the drama, corporate and personal, pass through, and goes into adequate depth.
However, the book is not without its s ...more
and there are hundreds of stories here.
Very pleasant and interesting to read.
But is it all true?
The author makes it sound like the slimey ratfink Andy Fastow was 90% to blame,
and that Skilling and Lay barely knew what was going on.
I find that hard to believe.
In any case, Skilling is still in prison.
And CEO's are still looting companies with excessive pay and outrageous stock options.
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Apparently having managed to interview most of the major players, Eichenwald puts the reader inside Enron for the highlights and, mostly, lowlights of ten years. While he doesn't resort to name-calling or exaggeration, Eichenwald mak ...more
Not anymore. The book illuminates one of the biggest frauds in our recent times, detailing the central actors in the demise of Enron and describing (briefly) the regulatory and political landscape that al ...more
Still, a few complaints nag. This is almost embarrassing to write down given how many times the same ground was covered, but I'm still not sure I totally understand the structure of the deals with the SPEs that Fastow set up. I mean, I think most of the ...more