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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2005 documentary film based on the best-selling 2003 book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a study of one of the largest business scandals in American history. McLean and Elkind are credited as writers o
Paperback, 130 pages
Published June 12th 2010 by Alphascript Publishing
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Read this book for a case that’s long mandated now. A fantastic book, except that I found it hard going. One tangible reason Enron fell is right on page 39:

“[M]uch of what happened at Enron can be traced to the decision to use mark-to-market accounting . . . . Suppose you’ve booked an asset and a liability on your balance sheet, for instance, a ten-year contract to supply natural gas to a utility in Duluth. Under conventional accounting, the value on your books continues to reflect your initia
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was the best business documentary I have ever seen. There is something extremely interesting about group deception. The story is as good as a fiction novel.
Usman Chohan
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the oddest Utilities business that could have existed, and I still have a hard time figuring out what the valuations of the company were being based on. Fiercely tragic to see the losses ordinary, decent people suffered at the hands of Enron.
Kristen-Marie Freeman
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Okay, I didn't read this one, but I did just watch the documentary. It was a clear, interesting movie, but I did object to some gratuitous exotic dancing scenes-- unnecessary and out of place.
Lincoln Quirk
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A lot to learn from this about what not to do in business. Fascinating read, though seems perhaps a bit biased on the "they should have known" side.
Shankar Srinivasan
Jun 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Quite biased and skims some parts
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Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I devoured this book. I always wondered exactly what Enron did and how the scandal unfolded, and this book ably tells the story. From the beginning, Enron engaged in aggressive accounting practices and established compensation practices that would ultimately contribute to its demise. It is clear that many Enron executives were brilliant, but they were also arrogant and placed no value on execution. Every action was taken with an eye towards satisfying Wall Street's demands for short term earning ...more
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