Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron
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Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  9 reviews
“They’re still trying to hide the weenie,” thought Sherron Watkins as she read a newspaper clipping about Enron two weeks before Christmas, 2001. . . It quoted [CFO] Jeff McMahon addressing the company’s creditors and cautioning them against a rash judgment. “Don’t assume that there is a smoking gun.”
Sherron knew Enron well enough to know that the company was in extreme sp
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Currency (first published November 7th 2002)
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Update: My wife and I just finished watching Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, an excellent documentary made in 2005. I recommend it highly, especially as many of the seeds of the current economic crisis were apparent in the machinations of the Enron boys. The parallels are uncanny.

Ken Lay was the product of a very religious background in a small Midwestern town. During work on his PhD in economics, he became enamored of the world of stocks. He parlayed InterNorth, a small energy company int...more
Amy Johanning
Wow. It is said that money and power are the root of all evil. This book proves that assertion. It is unbelievable to me - unfathomable actually - that human beings are as greedy and narcissistic as described in this book. Even the heroine, the "whistleblower," was susceptible to these traits and as such, should be given no sympathy. Ken Lay, CEO of Enron was found guilty of 10 counts of securities fraud, circumvented incarceration by dying three months before the judge was to impose sentencing....more
David Glad
So a couple weeks back an online friend asked me just what the fraud at Enron was. As I was unsatisfied with the answer I gave (more or less concealing liabilities through a web of complex partnerships AKA special purpose entities or SPEs) and, since my library had this audiobook, I figured might as well listen to this.

Book begins by mentioning Houston's origins, including how the original promoters of the territory insisted the local waterway was navigable. (Barely.) Along with the cast of char...more
Power Failure examines in great detail the story of Enron: the players, the dynamics, the interesting accounting structures - that lead to Enron's ultimate implosion.

Although it's a compelling story, I think the level of detail of the various deals and the effect on Enron's financial statements might confuse the average reader.

Also, the author uses colorful and varied language to describe the people involved - I suppose to give interest to the reader - that don't really mesh. One such instance...more
Watkins wasn't a whistle blower,
she saw the fraud at Enron, told Ken Lay about it,
and when he told her to be quiet about it,


Conspiracy of Fools is an infinitely better book

Sherron Watkins was an Enron insider who had much to gain and lose in this book. This is not the history to read, but does provide a unique insider's perspective.
I learned so much from this book. Saw corporate dishonesty from the inside. Really enjoyed it.
David E McClendon, Sr
The classic tale of corporate greed. This book gives an insider's view of what went on at Enron.
Fascinating inside look at the Enron culture.
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Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of Enron

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